The physical pain and emotional trauma that you may experience after a car accident can make it difficult to remember what to do and what you shouldn't do when such a situation arises. Yet, the actions you take following the accident are what will determine if you're eligible for a payout and how much of it you deserve. Make the wrong moves and you could end up getting underpaid or not getting paid at all.
Avoiding these common mistakes will help improve your chances of getting the settlement amount that you deserve.
Not Doing Some Detective Work At The Accident Scene
The investigative work that the police do when they arrive at an auto accident scene is primarily meant for official documentation purposes. As part of their job description, the police are required to keep a record of all auto accidents that happen within their jurisdictions.
While getting a copy of the crash report generated by the police will help provide a detailed account of what happened, it's a good idea to gather some evidence yourself. This may include:
- Taking photos of the accident scene (including the wrecked vehicles and any visible injuries suffered
- Exchanging basic information like names, insurance details, phone numbers, and physical addresses with other parties involved in the accident
- Talking to eyewitnesses and writing down their names, addresses, and contact details
- Measuring distances
Gathering your own evidence may help corroborate the police report and can go a long way in helping you build a strong car accident case.
Not Seeking Medical Care
Moments right after a car crash, you may head home feeling lucky that you emerged from the accident unhurt. Car accident symptoms don't always appear immediately after an accident. Sometimes, they can be delayed and become obvious after a day or two. By this time, you may discover that you're facing severe injuries.
Car accident attorneys discourage people from assuming they're fine after getting involved in an auto accident. Even if you're feeling perfectly okay, it's recommended you see your physician as soon as you can to rule out the possibility of delayed symptoms.
You certainly don't want your auto accident case to be dismissed because you can't prove that you got injured in an accident that the other party caused.
Waiting Too Long To Seek Compensation
Another mistake you shouldn't make is to wait too long to file your car accident claim or lawsuit. Depending on where you live, there may be deadlines for seeking compensation after an auto accident has happened. If you're too badly injured to handle the case yourself, make sure you hire a car accident attorney as early as possible.
While time is of the essence when it comes to car accident cases, you should avoid the temptation of accepting a hasty payout. Insurance companies are in the business of making money so they may be quick to offer you a lower settlement amount than you deserve. An experienced car accident attorney can evaluate your claim and protect you from any unreasonable settlements.
If you have a case, contact a local car accident attorney to learn what to do next.