Many people are aware of the general steps one should take after a vehicle collision occurs. But there are a lot of logistical details which should follow immediately after but that all too many people don’t grasp.
These are common mistakes people commit during a vehicle mishap as well as during the aftermath which can lead to long-term negative impacts on their lives.
Here are seven essentials you may wish to know about what happens after you are involved in a car crash.
- Know What to Give the Insurance Company
As much as we would like to trust insurance companies to handle sensitive cases such as a car collision with appropriate consideration, this doesn’t always happen. Remember, the goal of an insurance company is to pay out as little money as possible.
It’s wise to be cautious when you supply information to an insurance adjuster. One statement could easily place your claim in jeopardy.
Your smartest option is to hire a car accident lawyer. He or she will know what your rights are and can deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Don’t Take Your Injuries Lightly
Many of the physical complaints that result from a car or truck collision don’t necessarily surface until days, sometimes even weeks, after the incident. Feeling sore or stiff is a typical outcome.
But there may be issues underneath these superficial effects that they might be signaling to you. Brain, spinal, or tissue damage can only be identified through a proper diagnosis conducted by a medical professional.
Never take your injuries lightly after an accident. Seek immediate assistance to make certain no underlying damage occurred as a consequence of the crash.
- Address Issues Immediately After the Incident
There is no federal regulation that explicitly states how much time you have following a crash to report it to your insurance or the authorities. Every state has its own laws that set the statute of limitations on your legal prerogatives.
Many states allow up to two years from the initial accident. But among others, it can be as short as thirty days. Whatever’s the case, once the deadline passes, you no longer have the legal option to file a claim.
- Always Contact 911
When a car crash entails minimal injuries, one of the parties may try to persuade the others not to call 911. They might suggest the matter be handled without involving the authorities or insurance companies.
No matter how minor the accident, you should always call the police. Unless a police report gets written and filed, you won’t be able to file a claim with an insurance company.
In addition, in some states such as New Jersey, it’s required by law that any accident must be reported to the authorities.
- Determining Fault
It’s all too easy to point a finger when emotions and adrenaline run high after a collision. But when it comes to legal matters, you should never attempt to establish who is at fault, even if you honestly think it may have been yourself.
Admitting fault could ultimately damage or dismiss your claim when a lot of other people are involved in reporting the crash. Depending on which state the incident occurs in, identifying liable parties at fault could be determined by the police, insurance companies, and possibly even in court.
- Gathering Evidence
A police report isn’t the only document for which information must be gathered at the scene. Evidence will be used to support your case both with the insurance companies and in court if it comes to that.
Types of evidence may include:
- Photos of all the vehicles involved, from multiple angles
- Photos of any separate property damage
- Videos of the scene
- Statements from any witnesses who are eligible and willing to provide testimony
Don’t leave all the gathering of evidence to the police. A lot happens at a crash site, and something could potentially be missed.
When the dust settles, you may then turn over all your evidence to your legal counsel to help you obtain the largest possible compensation.
- Signing Away Your Rights
When you speak with an insurance company, the representative(s) might ask you to sign a form or contract. If you don’t read the fine print, you could be signing away your rights to seek legal compensation.
The forms could be a release, medical authorization, or some other form of agreement you wouldn’t necessarily find acceptable. This is why it’s vital to hire an attorney who will assist you with any legal matters with regard to insurance companies.
It’s essential when you get into a car collision to remain calm. Report the incident to the authorities and seek help from a medical professional.
Most important, hire a qualified lawyer to handle your case instead of trying to do everything yourself. You might find yourself having to settle for less than you deserve.
A good lawyer will have your best interests in mind, which may not be the case with the insurance companies.