Five Mistakes People Make After a Car Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael E. Trauscht with The Law Office Of Michael Trauscht.
Mistakes made while driving by one or more parties can result in serious accidents; however, mistakes occurring after an accident can be equally important to the recovery process. It can be hard to know exactly what steps to take after an accident to give your claim the best chance at success; however, avoiding certain big mistakes is a good place to start. Doing so can increase your chances of success and help simplify what might otherwise be a complicated process.
Five common mistakes people make after a car accident include:
- Admitting fault: One of the biggest mistakes people make after a car accident is discussing the accident with the other driver, law enforcement, insurance providers, and more. Discussing the incident commonly leads to admitting fault, even if that fault is only implied. For example, a blanket apology at the scene of the accident could be taken as an admission of guilt. Not only can this hurt your chances for recovery, but it may also be inaccurate. It is not uncommon for one party to believe they were primarily at fault only to later discover that the other party was also committing a violation at the time of the accident.
- Waiting to go to the doctor: Another big problem after a car accident is waiting to seek medical care. Toughing it out might seem tempting, especially if someone does not feel particularly injured after an accident. However, some injuries can take days, weeks, or even months to surface, and waiting to seek care can negatively impact your claim. For example, if a car accident victim waits two months to go to the doctor, it could lead the other party to argue that they couldn’t have been that hurt in the first place if they were able to put off going to the doctor. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible also ensures that an official medical record exists to document the event.
- Posting on social media: It’s a good idea to refrain from posting pictures, descriptions, or anything else regarding a car accident or resulting injuries on social media. Anything you post on social media could be twisted around and later used against you to reduce or deny your claim. It is also particularly important to refrain from discussing any litigation or insurance claim on social media, as this can actually hurt your chances at making and keeping a fair recovery.
- Leaving evidence uncollected: Failing to take pictures at the scene of the accident, collect witness contact information and testimonies, and seeing a doctor can all result in important evidence naturally dispersing and/or going missing. If someone is too injured to take pictures and collect information from witnesses at the scene, a friend or loved one can do so on their behalf. In fact, even a car accident attorney can collect this and other evidence for the injured party at no out-of-pocket cost. Evidence in a car accident claim can be vitally important and may also be harder to come by as more time passes.
- Waiting to talk to an attorney: Every state has a different statute of limitation or window of time in which someone injured in a car accident can pursue compensation. For example, in Arizona, car accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim before waiving their right to litigation. Waiting to talk to a car accident attorney can make it much harder to collect the necessary evidence and file the necessary paperwork correctly within the required deadline. If someone is waiting to talk to an attorney out of financial concern, it may help to note that most car accident attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means clients don’t pay unless and until they win. To give a claim the strongest chance at success, it’s a good idea to reach out to an attorney sooner rather than later.
To learn more about what not to do after a car accident, reach out to a car accident lawyer in your area.