Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming. The worst thing to do is to panic or make rash decisions. Listed below are some very common mistakes to avoid after a car accident:
- Leave the scene – By leaving the scene of an accident, you are committing a hit-and-run crime. This is illegal in New York.
- Neglect to call the police – If the accident involves injuries, the police will help secure the scene, conduct an investigation, talk to witnesses, and file a police report.
- Forget to document the car accident – Collecting evidence at the scene of an accident may be helpful later on. Take pictures of any damage, license plates, the place of occurrence and possibly injuries. Always be sure to get the other party’s insurance information.
- Admit fault – Even a polite “I’m sorry” may be misconstrued later on when you need to file a claim for injuries.
- Enter into any settlement agreement – You might think you are only agreeing to be compensated for property damage, when in fact the settlement you receive is also for any injury you may have sustained. Do not sign anything before consulting an experienced attorney.
- Post on social media – It is very common to want to share events on social media platforms. Anything you say or share may be used against you by an insurance carrier trying to discredit any claim you may have.
- Fail to follow through with medical treatment – If your treating physician sets up a treatment plan, it is critical that you follow that advice. If you do not follow through with your doctor’s recommendations, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are not as bad as you claim.
- Decline to hire a lawyer – An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the various legal documents, speak to the insurance carrier, and get you and your family the compensation you deserve.