Take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks, and area conditions. It is essential to do this even if you can drive away or a police officer moves your car out of the roadway.
If you can talk to witnesses, do so. However, remember to tell the truth and not exaggerate injuries.
Do Not Admit Fault
Car accident victims who admit fault to the insurance company may risk having their claim thrown out of court. They will also be locked into a recorded statement that could be used against them later. Injured people should consider hiring a lawyer to avoid these risks.
It is not possible to know if you have suffered severe injuries after a car wreck until your medical treatment is complete. For example, some injuries like mild traumatic brain injury can only be identified by a medical professional after the victim has seen a doctor and reported changes in their behavior or cognitive functioning.
Experienced Dallas car wreck lawyers at FrancisTXLaw.com can help clients fight for compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, not all car accident victims need a lawyer to represent them. For example, people who only suffer minor cuts and bruises in a fender bender do not need to hire an attorney.
Do Not Say “Sorry”
Although it may seem natural to say “sorry” after a car accident, it is best not to do so to protect your legal rights. An apology at the crash scene can be seen as an admission of fault by insurance providers, who want to avoid paying you what you deserve for your injuries.
Insurance representatives are trained to look for anything that could be used against them in court or negotiations. They know that even seemingly innocent apologies can be interpreted as admitting guilt and used against them in a lawsuit or settlement talks.
It is best to focus on ensuring everyone’s safety and exchange contact information with the other driver, including their name, phone number, driver’s license, vehicle make and model, and insurance information. You can express empathy and concern by asking the other person if they are okay or need medical help.
Do Not Refuse Medical Treatment
Car insurance companies look for any reason to deny or undervalue injury claims. One way they do this is by arguing that an injured victim has exaggerated their injuries.
This is why you should never refuse medical treatment after a car accident. Even if you feel your injuries are minor, visiting an Urgent Care or Emergency Room or your family doctor is still best. The doctors will provide a paper trail that shows you were injured in the crash, which can help strengthen your compensation claim.
Not seeking immediate medical attention can also make it harder to prove that the crash caused your injuries. If you wait too long, the insurance company may try to argue that your symptoms were caused by something else after the incident, such as a different accident or something that happened later in your life. Getting immediate treatment can help prevent this from happening.
Do Not Sign Any Paperwork Without the Advice of an Attorney
Insurance companies often ask victims to sign a “release of medical records.” This allows them to fish through your health records, seeking information that might be used to deny your claim. This is why it is best to sign paperwork with the advice of a car accident lawyer.
An experienced car wreck lawyer can help level the playing field against insurance companies trying to avoid paying you for the negligent actions of their insureds. Your injury attorney can help pay your medical bills and lost wages.
You can also obtain a copy of the police accident report sooner than waiting for an insurance company to provide it. Having the information early helps your injury lawyer determine the full extent of your injuries. In some states, you can access the official reports online after they’ve been filed. For example, if the collision happens in Texas, you can easily conduct a TX crash reports lookup online to find yours. Having these documents at hand can help your injury lawyer determine the full extent of your injuries and better assist you. This includes choosing the cost of any physical therapy, surgery, or injections you will need. It will also help your lawyer calculate your pain and suffering damages.