Common Mistakes People Make After an Accident
1. They Don’t Call the Police
Always, always, always call the police. This goes for both minor fender benders and 10 car pile ups. If there has been any sort of accident, you’ll want the police to make a report. In some states, not reporting an accident can be considered an offense. Plus, a police report can help strengthen a property damage or personal injury claim. After which, consulting a car accident lawyer Central Phoenix, AZ trusts is a good idea.
2. They Admit Fault
Even if it was obviously your fault, do not admit so and do not profusely apologize. Remain calm, help others in need, and wait for the authorities to arrive and make a report. Be honest and objective when giving a statement to the police, but avoid phrases like “It was all my fault”. Such statements may damage any potential insurance claim.
3. They Don’t Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Injuries sustained from a car accident have a sneaky way of going undetected, only to pop up a few days, weeks, or months later. It is best to be seen by a medical professional right away, whether that is a paramedic on the scene, your primary care doctor, or a trip to the hospital in an ambulance. The most important thing is your health and well-being. But keep in mind that if you intend on pursuing a personal injury claim, you’ll need medical records proving you sought treatment.
4. They Don’t take Photos or Gather Evidence
Gathering evidence is a big step in the process of making a legal claim, and the earlier you start the better. If you can, remember to take photos of the accident scene. Get shots of the cars involved, the weather conditions, the road conditions, even a bank sign that might indicate date and time. In addition, look for witnesses to the accident. Ask if the witnesses would be willing to provide their contact information and give statements to the police.
5. They Don’t Exchange Insurance Information
Make sure to get, at a minimum, the following information from the other driver(s) involved:
- Phone Number
- License Number
- Insurance Card Information
- Make and Model of Car
Again, even if it was a small fender bender, the gathering and exchange of information is crucial. Don’t ever let anyone talk you out of exchanging information with them.
6. They Attempt to Handle a Claim on Their Own
Insurance companies have teams of experienced adjusters, investigators, and lawyers trying to settle your case as quickly and for as little money as possible. If you hire legal representation, you are more likely to receive a higher settlement than if you attempt to handle the case on your own.
A special thanks to our friends Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insights.