If you’re ever involved in an accident, it’s important to remember that your actions after the fact can have a big impact on the outcome of your case.
Here are five things you should NOT do if you’re in an accident:
- Don’t admit fault, even if it seems very minor
- Don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company
- Don’t give a recorded statement, even to your own carrier
- Don’t sign anything without talking to a lawyer first
- Don’t ignore your injuries!
Don’t admit Fault for the Car Accident
After any car accident, it is very important that you do not admit any fault for the accident.
That includes saying things like, “I wish I had seen the other car sooner” or “I don’t know what happened.”
After a car wreck, it’s entirely normal to be confused and shaken up, especially in instances when you may have been blindsided and seriously injured.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies rely on the very human reaction of feeling bad for the at-fault driver who caused the wreck.
By admitting fault, you could be held liable for damages (legally responsible) even if the other driver was actually at fault.
What causes car accidents can be quite complicated. If you’re unsure about who was at fault, don’t say anything at the accident scene and let your lawyer sort it out.
Part of what we do as Plaintiff’s Lawyers is determine fault for the accident.
We review the police report and accident report, talk to witnesses, and fully investigate what caused the car accident and the related injuries – Kevin Jones, Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
The insurance company is not your friend, even if they act like it.
They are in the business of making money.
If they can settle your claim for less than it’s worth, that’s very profitable to car insurance companies.
They profit by your loss.
If they can deny your claim altogether by claiming Contributory Negligence, that’s even better for them after a car crash.
Don’t be fooled.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company is not there to help you.
They do not represent you, and they most certainly are not looking out for you or your best interests.
It’s all about the bottom line. They’re not interested in doing right by you or taking responsibility.
For them, it’s just business. If they leave you high and dry, suffering from your injuries without fair compensation, that’s just fine by them – Kevin Jones, Car Accident Lawyer
Part of denying claims is claiming injuries are not related to the car accident, are not properly documented, or are a “preexisting condition.”
Insurance companies love to snoop around in medical records, trying to find anything and everything in your past medical history to possibly avoid paying legitimate claims.
Know this: You are NOT required to sign a Medical Authorization and Release or give the insurance company unlimited access to all your medical records and personal medical history.
It’s not “required to make the claim.” It’s not just for their records or standard insurance information after a car accident.
Car insurance adjusters may also try to get you to sign away your rights or agree to a low settlement offer, even if the other driver is 100% responsible.
We think the best thing you can do is to refer the insurance adjuster to your lawyer (law firm) and let us deal with them.
We’re experienced in handling car accident claims, and dealing with the insurance providers. Let us do the legal work so you can focus on recovery – Kevin Jones, Personal Injury Attorney
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement, Even to Your Own Carrier
You are not required to give a recorded statement to anyone, even your own insurance company.
In fact, it’s usually not a good idea.
Anything you say may be used against you later on.
Cooperating with filing an insurance claim after an auto accident, and providing proper notice, do not require a recorded statement.
It’s a good idea to let your lawyer do the talking for you.
Thereafter, if it is in your best interest to provide a formal statement, that may be accomplished in several different ways.
Don’t Sign Anything Without Talking to a Lawyer First
If someone asks you to sign something after an accident, make sure you understand what you’re signing first.
It could be a waiver of your rights or an agreement to a low settlement offer.
It’s smart to have a lawyer look over anything before you sign it.
Don’t Ignore Your Injuries!
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible after an accident.
Some injuries, like concussions, may not present themselves until days or weeks after the accident.
And if you wait too long to seek treatment, the insurance company may try to say that your injuries aren’t related to the accident.
If you’ve been in an accident and need help dealing with the aftermath, we can help.
Car accident victims rarely fully understand the complexities of the claims process, which necessarily involves documentation of damages and injuries – Kevin Jones, NC Car Accident Attorney
Call us today for a free consultation.