Being in an auto accident can be overwhelming, especially if you have been severely injured. The accident can seem like a huge blur because it happened so fast. Police reports had to be filed, witness accounts have to be gathered; then there’s the matter of getting your car fixed or even having to buy a whole new car if it was totaled. All of this is enough to cause sleepless nights and major headaches.
Regardless of what’s going on, it’s important not to make these five mistakes if you’ve been involved in an auto accident:
- You don’t collect contact information from other drivers. Make sure to always keep a notebook and pen in the glove compartment so you can take down names, phone numbers, insurance carriers, driver’s license numbers, colors and models of the vehicles, as well as vehicle license plate numbers.
- You don’t take notes of the accident scene. If possible, take a picture of all the vehicles involved in the accident and jot down all the details of what happened just before and right after the accident. Write down the street and nearest cross street of where the accident took place as well as the posted speed limit.
- You don’t see a doctor. Some people don’t think that their injuries are major enough to go see a doctor. Some injuries may not show symptoms until days or weeks after an accident. Even if you don’t have health insurance, you may want to consider seeing a doctor anyway. You can always pay the medical bill after you are compensated by the car insurance company.
- You accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company. Medical bills, car damages, and pain and suffering can add up, but most of the time the first settlement an insurance company will offer you will not cover all those expenses. Remember that car insurance companies are in the business of saving money, not looking out for your best interests.
- You provide the insurance adjuster with a statement even if you’ve already hired a lawyer. If a person representing the insurance company calls you, refer them directly to your lawyer. Do not answer any questions at all. If you provide them with any information, they will often try to use that information against you somehow.
If you haven’t hired a car accident injury lawyer to help you file a case, you may want to consider doing so if you’ve suffered major injuries or you feel lost as to how to deal with the insurance company. What is most important is that you are able to relax and go through the healing process without any hassles.
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