It is scary to think about what might happen if you are in a car accident. It is even more frightening when you realize how often these accidents happen and how dangerous they can be. While some car accidents are minor and result in no injuries, others can be more serious.
This is why it is important to know what to do – and what not to do – if you are involved in a car accident. By following these simple tips, you can protect yourself from being taken advantage of by the other driver or their insurance company:
1. Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
One of the worst things you can do after a car accident is to leave the scene. If you hit someone’s car and they are not there, leaving a note with your insurance information is the right thing to do. However, if anyone is injured or if there is significant damage to either vehicle, leaving the scene is considered a hit and run and is a crime in most states.
2. Do Not Admit Fault
After an accident, it is natural to want to apologize or take responsibility for what happened. However, anything you say at the accident scene can be used against you later. Even if you believe you were at blame, don’t say anything; leave it up to the insurance company to sort it out.
3. Do Not Forget to Exchange Information
Be sure to exchange information with the other driver, including your name, contact information, insurance company name, and policy number. If the other driver refuses to give you this information, call the police.
4. Do Not Ignore Injuries
Even if you feel fine after the accident, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Many injuries, such as whiplash, do not show symptoms immediately. If you wait too long to get treatment, the insurance company may argue that your injuries were not caused by accident. Consult an auto accident chiropractor if you experience any neck or back pain following a car accident.
5. Do Not Neglect to Document the Accident
Be sure to take photos of the accident scene, damage to both vehicles, and any injuries you or your passengers sustained. These photos can be very helpful when filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
6. Do Not Forget to File a Police Report
If you are in a car accident, it is important to file a police report. This will help document what happened and can be used as evidence in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. The police report will also include the officer’s contact information, which can be helpful if you have any questions or need additional information.
7. Do Not Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Without a Lawyer
The other driver’s insurance company will likely contact you after the accident and try to get you to give a statement. They may even offer you a settlement. It is important not to talk to the insurance adjuster or accept any settlement without first consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer.
8. Do Not Refuse Medical Treatment at the Scene
If you are injured in a car accident, do not refuse medical treatment at the scene. Even if you feel fine, it is essential to be evaluated by a medical professional. If you refuse treatment and later discover you have injuries, the insurance company may argue that your injuries were not caused by accident.
9. Do Not Wait to Contact an Attorney
If you are involved in a car accident, it is essential to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you protect your rights, navigate the insurance claims process, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
10. Do Not Let the Insurance Company Lowball Your Settlement
The insurance company will likely try to lowball you when offering a settlement. They may even deny your claim altogether. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company and fight for the total amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Sign Anything Without Consulting an Attorney!
If the other driver’s insurance company offers you a settlement, do not sign anything or agree to any terms without first consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer. The insurance company may try to take advantage of you and lowball your settlement. An attorney can help you understand the settlement terms and make sure you are getting fair compensation for your injuries.
Following these simple tips can help you protect yourself from being taken advantage of by the other driver or their insurance company after a car accident. Remember, always document everything and contact an attorney if you have any questions or concerns.