If you have been in an auto accident, you will have many things running through your head. No matter the circumstances of the accident, it is always important to do all you can to protect your rights going forward. Unfortunately, many people make some common mistakes in the minutes, hours, and days following an auto accident, which makes it difficult to sue or take other legal action that could otherwise result in your reimbursement for things like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Before you get in the car again, make sure you know which mistakes you should avoid if you are ever faced with this challenging situation so you have every possible option available to you going forward.
Do Not Take Medical Risks
Whenever there is any sort of accident, the first priority is always going to be the health of everyone involved. While it is best to get things sorted out as soon as possible—collecting details from the accident and things of that nature—you should always address any potential medical concerns first. If you or anyone else has been seriously injured, make sure to get to the hospital right away. Do not take chances with your health and be aware that even severe injuries may not be obvious following an accident. You may not notice pain due to adrenaline spikes and some injuries like internal bleeding may not be visually noticeable.
Do Not Admit Fault
No matter what the situation, you absolutely never want to admit fault to the other party, to the police, or to anyone else on the scene. While this may seem difficult at the time, it can be extremely important if you end up having to go to court. In addition, just because you think it was your fault, doesn’t mean it actually was. There is no way for you to know every relevant detail of the situation, so it would be irresponsible to admit any sort of fault at this time. Keep in mind that this does not mean you should ever lie, but you should only share the facts from your perspective about the accident rather than your opinions or speculation about what happened.
Do Not Forget to Gather Witness Contact Info
In most cases there are going to be at least a few witnesses that see the accident. Many people make the mistake of thinking that the police will get a full report from each one, but that often doesn’t happen. If possible, get all the contact information of everyone who is at the scene. While it may not be necessary, your attorney may need to contact them to get their testimony to help strengthen your case.
Do Not Fail to File a Police Report
In minor accidents, people often want to avoid having the police involved because they don’t want to get a ticket. If there is even the slightest chance that someone was injured or that your vehicle has any damage, however, you are going to be grateful that a police report was filed. Without this report it can be extremely difficult to successfully file any type of lawsuit, should it be necessary.
Do Not Leave the Scene without Pictures
Just about everyone today has a phone that has a camera built right in. As soon as it is safe, take pictures of the entire scene with your phone. Getting pictures of any damage to your vehicle, the other party’s vehicle, and anything else that appears important can be very helpful not only with a lawsuit, but even with filing an insurance claim.
Don’t Try to Deal With it On Your Own
If there is any injury or damage to your vehicle, don’t try to deal with the situation on your own. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you sort out the details and create a smart plan of action. Contact Greathouse Trial Law, LLC to talk to an attorney and see what options you have available.