7 Common Mistakes Made After A Car Accident
After you’ve found yourself in a car accident, you’re like to be stressed, frazzled, and not thinking quite clearly. Car accidents of any sort are traumatizing experiences, but it’s important to keep a clear head as to avoid some of the most common car accident aftermath mistakes. These mistakes can lessen your ability to get a proper settlement after an accident, and one small mistake can have a lasting impact. 7 common mistakes to avoid after a car accident are:
• Not calling the police – If an accident in Florida causes injury, death, or damages higher than $500 in value, it’s the law to call Florida authorities to the scene of an accident. However, in some instances, one may decide against calling the police in accidents large and small. The report an officer files at the accident scene is a key piece of evidence and one that will be required if you plan to pursue a settlement of any kind.
• Failing to take photos if you’re able – Of course, you may not be able to take photos of an accident scene if you’ve been seriously injured, but if you can it should be made a priority. Accident scene photos stand as solid evidence of the circumstances surrounding the accident, any property damages, and injuries sustained, and they can make a large impact on the success of your negotiations and settlement.
• Refusing medical treatment – It never looks good to refuse medical treatment, but it still happens all too often. Immediately following an accident, a rush of adrenaline will naturally numb your body to pain and cause you to miss injuries you may have sustained. Strains, sprains, and other soft tissue injuries are the likeliest culprits to be dulled by the post-accident adrenaline surge.
When medical treatment is refused initially but pursued, later on, those medical claims may not be taken seriously by insurance adjusters responsible for paying out your settlement. Insurance companies can’t be sure those injuries happened due to the accident if time has passed, and they may figure that if injuries were serious enough to seek settlement for they should have been addressed on the spot. Even if you feel alright, seeing a medical professional is always recommended.
• Failing to review the police report – Police officers in Florida are busy, and in the hustle and bustle of a car accident scene, even they can make mistakes on the report. Reviewing any police reports made can allow you to catch mistakes, and save yourself from having to explain any inaccuracies later on.
• Losing or deleting evidence – If you’ve taken 100 photos of the accident scene and any injuries, some picture looking nearly exactly alike, it’s important to keep each photo. If you have a stack of papers from your medical provider, keep every sheet. Losing or deleting evidence can lead to crucial pieces of information for your case being lost.
• Not seeking the assistance of a car accident attorney – A very common mistake many make after a car accident is simply trusting their insurance company to provide for their needs without a fight. During negotiations, insurance companies may offer shockingly low settlement amounts and refuse to budge without going to court if their client is not represented. Your Florida car accident attorney will be able to fight for you in this process and work to get you the settlement you deserve.
• Talking to the insurance company – Aside from filing your initial claim, all further communications with your insurance company should be through your car accident attorney. Insurance adjusters and legal teams will want you to say something that devalues your claim, and only a professional will know how to confidently navigate those waters.