An accident can be a disorienting experience for those involved. Whether due to shock or to fear, many people make mistakes when handling the aftermath of an auto accident.
These are some of the most common mistakes that people make. Avoiding them can help protect you from an unfavorable, unfair or overly complicated claims process.
This is one of the most common mistakes, because it is a natural thing for us to do in almost any other social situation. If you bumped into a co-worker while walking around the office, you would most likely apologize, even if the contact wasn’t your fault.
While in that situation, apologizing is a harmless social courtesy, apologizing after a motor vehicle accident can be viewed as an admission of fault. Though it may seem unnatural, avoid saying anything that assumes responsibility for the accident. Instead, ask if everyone in the car is okay.
Not contacting the police
Most people are generally a little hesitant to contact the police. However, you should absolutely contact law enforcement after a motor vehicle accident. Law enforcement can be an invaluable resource for you during the claims process. They can help gather witness accounts of the situation and other authoritative evidence that is impossible for civilians to detail.
Not gathering evidence
Although police officers will file the official report, you still should gather as much of your own evidence of the accident as possible. Things you should document include photos of injuries and car damages as well as the contact information of witnesses and the other drivers involved in the accident.
Not going to a doctor
This goes hand in hand with not gathering evidence. While you should obviously visit the doctor for your own well-being, a visit is also important for documenting any injuries you’ve suffered. Getting an official diagnosis from a medical professional will carry a lot more weight with insurance companies than personal claims of injuries.
Mishandling interactions with insurance companies
Perhaps the greatest mistakes people make when handling an automobile accident come from working with insurance companies. These mistakes can range from failing to file a claim to signing a settlement prematurely.
Insurance businesses make money every time they shortchange you on your claim. Because an insurance adjustor does not have your best interest at heart, they may not offer you a compensation package that considers the full scope of your suffering, such as time off work and emotional distress. Hiring an attorney to deal with the insurance company on your behalf can help get you the full compensation that you deserve.