Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident
If you or a loved one are injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another, it is important to avoid making errors or missteps that could jeopardize your potential legal claim. Our experienced car accident lawyers at Montlick Injury Attorneys have reviewed the most common mistakes car wreck victims make after an accident.
Not Calling 911 to Report the Accident
In some states and metros, law enforcement officers might not come to the accident scene, but it is very important that you contact 911 and report the motor vehicle accident. The 911 emergency dispatcher will determine whether or not to send a police officer to the accident scene. If there are severe injuries, a law enforcement officer may be sent in order to conduct an evaluation and complete an accident report. A police accident report can be vital evidence in a potential car accident case. Insurance companies often use a police accident report to ascertain who was at fault for the accident. If you believe the other driver is driving a stolen car, driving under the influence, or driving without insurance, it is important that you communicate with 911 and the responding law enforcement officer.
Leaving the Scene of the Crash
If you or a loved one is in an accident, it is normal to feel some level of fear or anxiety. However, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident without providing contact and insurance information with other involved parties is a felony in all 50 U.S. states. Remain at the scene of the accident and exchange all insurance and contact information with the other driver involved in the traffic accident. If you are capable, take photographs of the accident scene and the other motor vehicles involved in the collision.
Not Seeking Medical Attention
Oftentimes, people involved in a collision cannot feel their accident-related injuries until after the rush of adrenaline has subsided. This can be several hours after the crash. Even if you feel your injuries are not that serious, you should be examined by a medical professional immediately after an auto accident. All of your accident-related injuries must be documented by a medical professional. It can be extremely difficult to recover medical expenses for accident-related injuries if they have not been documented by a medical professional.
Believing the Insurance Company Will Be Helpful or is On Your Side
After an auto accident has occurred, the at-fault driver's insurance company may contact the injured party. Insurance adjusters sometimes want you to provide a recorded statement about the accident, and the insurance representative will ask questions about your accident-related injuries. While accident victims have an obligation to communicate with their own car accident insurance carrier through contract, they are not obligated to speak with the other motorists' insurance companies. Car accident insurance adjusters are often coached to act friendly and helpful. However, they have a job to do. Their job is to protect the financial interests of the insurance company. Insurance representatives and accident adjustors have many strategies they use to reduce the amount they pay on an accident claim. While insurance adjusters may offer a fair sum of money to repair your car, they may not offer a fair offer on your bodily injury claim.
Settling Your Accident Injury Claim Too Early
Many insurance representatives try to pressure accident victims into quick settlements before the accident claimant has talked with an attorney or finished medical treatment. It is generally not wise to accept a quick settlement offer. Accepting a settlement offer prior to understanding the full prognosis of your injuries is a huge mistake. It is best to speak with an auto accident attorney who can explain your rights to you before you accept any settlement offers.
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If you have been injured or lost a family member due to an accident, contact Montlick & Associates, Injury Attorneys, for your free consultation today. Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries or lost a loved one in an accident for over 38 years. Our trial attorneys have recovered billions of dollars for our personal injury clients through negotiated settlements, litigation/lawsuits, settlement of lawsuits, jury verdicts, mediation, and arbitration awards.
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