Car accidents can be hectic, especially if you’ve been injured. Immediately after an accident, remain calm and gather as much information as possible should you decide to take legal action to pursue compensation.
However, specific actions can put your case at a disadvantage. So, to help you avoid those pitfalls, we’ve created a list of five things you shouldn’t do after a car accident:
Don’t Forget to Report the Accident
In most states, you must report your car accident to law enforcement if:
- One involved party was injured or killed
- The accident caused property damage
Immediately after an accident, you should file a crash report with the officer who reports to the scene and ask for a copy.
This document contains vital information that can serve as a reference for when the accident occurred and what happened. This information might involve:
- Parties involved
- Injuries, fatalities, or property damage
- Insurance information
- Date of accident
- Eyewitness information
If you did not retrieve a copy of the report, your car accident lawyer could do this for you.
For a free legal consultation, call (813) 259-0022
Don’t Skip Seeing the Doctor Just Because Your Injuries Seem Minor
A common mistake some people make is to forego seeing a medical professional after being involved in a crash. People might not visit a doctor because:
- They don’t think they’re injured
- Their injuries seem minor
- They might not have health insurance
You risk putting doubt in the correlation between your wreck and injuries with these reasons because you did not document immediately.
When a person gets involved in an accident, their body’s initial physical response may involve shooting adrenaline through their blood system to remain alert. This is a stress response that allows people to handle physically taxing situations as a means of survival. However, this stress response can also dull injury symptoms from 24 to 48 hours.
In some cases, certain injuries might not surface until several days to weeks after an accident occurred. For example, Mayo Clinic notes that whiplash might not surface for several days and symptoms can last a few weeks to several months or years if left untreated.
You should see a physician to get a complete physical exam if some injuries exist without having outward symptoms. Certain injuries may require X-rays, blood tests, and other exams to identify, such as:
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Internal fractures
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
As mentioned, a person might not experience injury symptoms until days to weeks after an accident, which can put a person at risk depending on the injury. Therefore, it is better to be cautious and get a physical exam to prevent injuries from worsening.
Seeing a physician can document the crash in your medical records, which creates an immediate paper trail for you. If your injuries worsen, you can use your initial examination as evidence that the accident correlates with your injuries.
Don’t Give Any Statements to Insurance Companies Without a Lawyer
An insurance company might reach out to you for a statement about how the accident occurred. This is a subtle tactic to have you give information that might conflict with their insured driver’s story, which can be used to assign partial liability to you.
Depending on which state you live in, having partial negligence might affect how much compensation you may receive. States like Maryland and Arizona follow “contributory negligence” laws, which bar plaintiffs who have any percentage of negligence from recovering compensation.
To avoid giving any statements that put your case at risk, you can refer all inquiring parties to speak with your car accident attorney.
While you might feel tempted to express frustration about a wreck on your social media, resist the urge. Any form of documentation can be used against you.
Should you post images or statements about the accident on your social media accounts, the defending attorney might:
- Request copies of your social media posts
- Use your statements against you
- Use timestamps, photos, and phrases used to challenge your claims
Your lawyer can advise you on what you may post on your accounts.
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Don’t Accept the Insurance Company’s First Settlement Offer
Insurance companies offer the minimum as compensation to victims in hopes of settling without trial. This offer might be tempting if you face medical expenses and could use the money. However, if you have serious injuries that require long-term treatment, this offer might disservice you in the long run.
You should have an attorney review your damages so that you know whether the settlement offer fairly covers them. You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Current and future income loss
- Reduced earning potential
- Property damage costs
- Diminished quality of life
- Disability, whether total or partial
You may qualify for other damages not listed here.
Receive a Car Accident Case Review By Contacting Our Office Today
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Florida, a car accident attorney from Distasio Law Firm might be able to represent you and help pursue compensation for your damages. We have been helping accident victims demand compensation from liable parties for over three decades.
Call (813) 259-0022 to get a free case review today.