It’s ironic that even when car crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States, few people know what they should do after one occurs. Even fewer are unaware of the mistakes that they should never commit after a crash. These mistakes may seem trivial, but they could potentially hurt your chances of securing much-needed compensation for your injuries. Here are some of the things you should never do after a car accident:
Fleeing the Scene
Regardless of how harmless an accident may seem, drivers are required by law to check on the other driver, call emergency personnel and exchange contact information. Never flee the scene of an accident as this is automatically deemed a misdemeanor, wherein a scene of an accident becomes a scene of a crime. This is especially true when the accident causes property damage and injuries, or even death. Fleeing the crime could be punishable by fines or jail time, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Admitting fault, whether through a written statement or through anything that sounds like an apology, can put you, your lawyer, and your insurance company at a disadvantage. This is especially true in tort states. Even if you didn’t cause the accident, even something that sounds like an apology can be treated as an admission of fault, and this can be used against you in court later on.
Denying Any Injury
Even when you feel fine right after an accident, you shouldn’t deny having any injury before you’ve had a thorough medical assessment. This is especially true when you consider that adrenaline could be masking the pain from your injuries. Denying that you need medical treatment could also hurt your chances of receiving damages. It’s always best to observe any lingering symptoms, even if they are minor, as they could still worsen later on.
Signing a Quick-Hit Release Form
Always keep in mind that insurance companies, even your own, will always serve their own interests. Insurance companies will try to minimize the money they pay you by offering you some amount of money in order to settle the case right away. The immediate relief may be tempting, but this quick relief is always much less than what you’re actually entitled to. Signing a quick-hit release form releases the other parties from any future liabilities that may arise later on. Even when you discover new injuries, you will not be able to secure compensation for these injuries if you’ve signed a quick-hit release form.
Speaking to an Insurance Adjuster
It’s important to keep in mind that insurance adjusters will always serve the interests of the insurance company by ensuring that the company pays as little money as possible. This holds true even for those from your own insurance company. They’re going to want to get a statement from you after the accident. You are not legally bound to give them a statement, nor should you, as any statement you make can be used against you in court.
In any case, you should always hire a lawyer who knows how to handle a personal injury claim. The worst thing you can do is to forgo hiring a lawyer. Not only will hiring a lawyer help to maximize your chances of securing compensation for your injuries, but a lawyer will also help you maximize the number of damages that you can receive.