Being involved in a car accident is never a pleasant experience – even if you are lucky enough to be uninjured. While you may feel confused, angry, or overwhelmed in the immediate aftermath, it is crucial you stay in control of your actions and watch what you say during this time. Everything you say and do following your collision can have a considerable impact on your ability to recover compensation – or worse – cause you to be held financially responsible for the resulting damages. The following do’s and don’ts can help you to protect your rights and avoid assuming liability before a proper investigation is conducted.
Be sure to DO the following after your collision:
- Do stay at the scene and attend to any injured parties. You have a responsibility as a driver to pull over and render aid to any injured motorists after a car accident. Call the police and summon medical attention if anyone appears to be hurt.
- Do read the terms of your insurance policy in detail. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to misrepresent the terms of a policyholder’s coverage after a collision in order to reduce the value of their settlement. Knowing exactly what you are and are not covered for can put you in a far better position to negotiate and protect you against unfair treatment.
- Do contact your insurance company immediately. The sooner you report your collision, the less likely it is that your claim will be denied.
- Do gather as much evidence as possible. Take photos of the damage, record the other involved drivers’ insurance and contact information, and request copies of any police reports that are filed in connection to your accident.
- Do keep all bills, receipts, and invoices for repairs or medical expenses which result from your accident. If you are unsure a particular expense is covered, save the receipt anyway.
Likewise, DO NOT do any of the following:
- Do not flee the scene of the accident. This can cause you to be charged with a “hit and run” and face serious criminal consequences such as jail time, exorbitant fines, and possible revocation of your driver’s license.
- Do not apologize. While it may be second nature to say “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you” immediately after a crash, these statements may be misconstrued as admissions of fault and cause you to be held liable for the collision – even if the other driver was actually at fault.
- Do not make any ambiguous or “I think” statements to the police or your insurance company after your collision. Be honest, but stick to the facts. Speculation will only hurt you in the long run.
- Do not skip seeking medical attention. Even if you may feel fine, there is still a possibility that you have suffered critical damage and are experiencing delayed symptoms. Seeing a doctor will not only protect your health, but it will also protect you from having your injury claim denied due to negligence.
- Do not rush to accept the first settlement offer you receive from your insurance company. In most cases, this first offer will be far lower than what you actually deserve. If you disagree with the settlement amount, submit a counteroffer with evidence backing up your claim. If you still cannot reach an agreement, you may need to file a lawsuit in pursuit of fair compensation.
Lancaster Car Accident Attorneys – (661) 261-4929
Your chances of securing a fair settlement after a car accident are only as good as the quality of the legal representation you have by your side. At Accident Attorneys, our Lancaster car accident lawyers have recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of our injured clients and can provide the strong legal support you need to maximize your eligible compensation.
Get in touch with us today to discover your legal options in full detail.