Car accidents are the worst thing you can wish anyone even your worst enemy. It is an evil that leaves one traumatized, hurt, disabled, and dead in the worst case scenario. However, if the worst does not come, there are many things you are not supposed to do right after an accident. This is because they may have negative effects on your case and give an advantage to the other party. The advantage will work for their good because there is often a lot of processes that follow an accident that is put in place to ensure that everything else runs smoothly after the accident. Here are a few things that you should never do after an accident.
1. Do not flee from the scene of the accident and especially if you are sure you were on the wrong and you are not hurt. This is an offense since you are required to stay there until the respective authorities come to the scene of the accident and give the way forward. If you have hit a person, you can rush them to the hospital and report the matter, or you can call for an ambulance to take the person as you wait for the authorities to take your statement.
2. Do not admit that you were at fault at the scene when questioned. This can be used against you in the court of law. Even if there is a part of you, that knows it is your fault. Do not admit it. If you have a lawyer, you can call them to come and help you and be there for you if you do not know what to do. What you can do at best is give your insurance credentials and driving license.
3. Do not sign any documents presented to you by the other party or any documents that come from their insurance company. You can only do this after you have done thorough consultations with a legal officer. Signing it without knowledge may cost you a lot because you may be agreeing to something that you are not sure what it means for you.
4. Do not give a statement to the place if you are not able to do so at that time. This can be because of injuries, disorientation, or because you are shaken up. You are allowed to get medical attention first before you give a statement. You are also allowed to calm down and regain your focus before you can give your statement. When you give it before you are stable enough to do so, you may give wrong information because of confusion. As long as they have it on record, they may use it against you, and you may not be able to free yourself from what you said. Therefore, take your time and do not let anyone rush you.
5. Do not discuss any settlements for personal injuries with the other party up until you have recovered from the injuries and you are well. There is no way you can negotiate the settlement until you are fully aware of the extent of the damage done as well as the cost of the bills. If you do that before knowing the damage caused and the medical bills, you may end up getting what is not enough for your treatments and recovery. The injury may seem shallow at the scene only for tests to be carried out and you discover the injuries run deeper. By then you will not be able to go back and start claiming more money because you had already settled it.
6. Do not negotiate any personal injury settlements without a lawyer present or calling your attorney. Legal officers are the excellent people to be there when doing this settlement because they are more conversant on how to go about it. They are also the ones who are going to ensure that you get what you deserve after sustaining injuries. On your own, you will not do a great job to get what you deserve.
7. Do not exaggerate your injuries so that you can get more money when you make a personal injury claim. In as much as you may think you can get away with it, you can rest be assured that the insurance company knows how to spot such tendencies. Auto insurance adjusters have been known to spy on accident victims using surveillance and following their social media activity such as facebook, twitter, and instagram. Therefore, always stick to the reality. If they find out you are lying (which they will), you can be charged with fraud, and this is punishable by law. Therefore, stick to the facts and let your lawyer get you what you deserve.
8. Do not give a written statement or a recorded statement to the other party or their insurance company. These can be legally binding and can be used against you. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that you should never claim responsibility for the accident before talking to a specialized attorney. You may not have any skeletons to hide but whatever you say or write can be misconstrued, and you will not be able to defend yourself.
9. Do not contact your insurance company when you are injured, rattled, and disoriented. It is so easy for one to say the wrong thing at this time because of the fear, anxiety, and so on. If you say any wrong thing, they will use it as a reason not to pay you. Let us face it, every insurance company is always looking for a reason not to pay up, and it can go as far as requiring a lawyer to handle the case for you so that you can be paid. Therefore, refrain from calling your insurer until you have things in perspective and have discussed your situation with an attorney specializing in car crashes.
10. Do not receive any cheques written ‘final payments’ unless it is the final payment. If you do, you will not be able to get more money from insurance or parties involved if the agreement was to pay in installments. Unless it is a final payment, do not accept that cheque.
With this list of DON’Ts, know you what is expected of you. Use the information above to save yourself from any troubles that may arise from the accident. As long as you know what not to do, you know what to do. Apply these pointers anytime you are in an accident, and you will have an easy time going through the processes that follow to the end.