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Involvement in a car accident can be very chaotic. The event itself is traumatic, but your actions after the accident may have the most impact on the outcome of your claim for compensation. Although you’ll be a little shaken up immediately following the experience, you’ll need to be prepared to take action (and avoid other actions) in order to keep yourself protected from a law suit or other problems further down the road. Knowing what not to do after an accident occurs is just as important as knowing what to do, so read on to learn about the biggest post-car-accident mistakes that you definitely want to avoid at all costs.
Admitting Any Fault
It is human nature to assume at least partial responsibility for an accident. Never admit any responsibility to the accident to law enforcement or anyone else at the scene of the event. Simply reply that you are not sure what happened or provide information about your reaction to events. Most states have laws governing compensation benefits based on responsibility. Let the attorneys use evidence to determine fault. Obviously, you want to be honest, but most likely you won’t be thinking clearly after the accident because of the adrenaline, so be sure that you don’t reveal too much since you might be confused about what really happened.
Not Seeking Immediate Medical Care
While most auto insurance policies provide you with up to seven days to seek medical care for an accident, most insurers will start to question the conditions after about 12 hours. Many claims are automatically denied because the insurer feels the injury is not related to the event. You should seek medical care immediately, even for minor injuries. If an EMT comes to the scene of the accident, take their advice, especially if they suggest that you go to the hospital. They might be able to see some potential problems, and again, you’ll be full of adrenaline, so you might not feel the full measure of the pain yet. Even if you feel something slightly painful or abnormal, you’ll want to consult a doctor, just in case.
Failing To Hire An Attorney
You should hire an attorney as soon as you can once you sense any trouble after the accident. Many people will not take issue with the accident if it was a mutual mistake, but be prepared for the other party to sue or the insurance company to expect a settlement from you. The insurance company will begin pushing for you to make a settlement or agreement with them as soon as possible. Avoid making any statements or agreements with the insurer prior to speaking to an attorney. Additionally, an attorney will be familiar with all of the benefits you are entitled to because of the accident. Many times the insurance company “forgets” to disclose these benefits. With an attorney on your side, you’re more likely to get what you deserve, and get it in proper time. If you wait until months after all of the events have transpired, it will be much more difficult to get what you want at that point.
Not Following Medical Care Instructions
It is very important that you follow all medical care instructions and keep all appointments. Missed appointments or refusal of treatments is seen by the insurance company as a sign that you no longer need medical care. If you are not happy with the medical care you are receiving, speak to your attorney about having a second opinion conducted. The worst thing you can do is ignore a doctor’s recommendations or orders. As mentioned, you can switch doctors if you don’t agree with their treatment style or recommendations, but ignoring medical care instructions could disqualify you for coverage later down the road, which could be a huge problem if your condition caused by the accident worsens.
Posting Too Much Information
You should refrain from posting too much information on your social sites about the accident. Keep any information you post as basic. Never admit fault on your pages and never disclose the legal issues you have discussed with your attorney. The insurance company will be monitoring your site, and postings on your social media sites could be used as evidence against you if you aren’t careful. Be careful with emails and electronic communications as well since these can often be obtained and used against you. Just as you don’t want to admit fault at the scene of the accident, you don’t want to say too much about your involvement in the accident—even if you’re just posting on the internet.
By understanding these five mistakes, you can avoid problems with your compensation claim and receive the full amount you deserve for your losses. As mentioned, you’ll likely be frazzled and overwhelmed immediately following the accident so be careful that you don’t make a mistake just because you are confused or shaken up. If you know the best steps to take before an accident ever occurs, then you’ll know exactly what to do when that unfortunate time comes. Information for this article was provided by the legal professionals at the Law Offices of Stanley Pasternak who practice law in Toronto.
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.