Car accidents can be incredibly overwhelming. Understandably, when you are involved in a collision and potentially suffering from injuries, you might not be thinking clearly due to shock. However, the steps you take after an accident play a significant role in how your car accident case plays out.
So even though the moment may feel stressful and overwhelming, it’s essential to avoid making certain mistakes to ensure you get the settlement you deserve. And if you ever have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to an Indianapolis car accident attorney right away. They can help you understand what to do and what to say after a car accident so you don’t accidentally do or say something that can be used against you.
Below, we’ll review some of the most common mistakes after a car accident that you should avoid:
1. Not Calling the Police
Many people will avoid calling the police after an accident. After all, they don’t want to make it a big deal, or potentially they don’t have insurance and are worried about getting in trouble. But not calling the police can do more harm than good. You should always call the police, no matter how minor the accident is.
An official police report will be necessary to help you prove what happened if you want to file a claim for your injuries. Without a police report, the others involved can simply deny fault, and you won’t have anything to prove otherwise to ensure the insurance company pays you what you deserve.
2. Admitting Fault
When talking about what to say after a car accident or what not to say, you should never say anything that resembles admission of fault. Even if you think you caused the accident, you should not say so. Many things can contribute to an accident, and there is no knowing if something or someone else was the cause until evidence is thoroughly evaluated.
If you admit fault to the police or the insurance company, it might not matter that something else was discovered as the cause. Your initial statement could be used against you to deny your claim or reduce your settlement amount. So always speak to an attorney first and never admit fault.
3. Passing On or Delaying Medical Care
No matter how minor your injuries are, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible. If the injuries are severe, you should seek immediate emergency medical care. Do not worry about the bills, as this is something you could have taken care of after you file a claim.
If you wait too long to seek treatment, it could put your health and your case at risk. Failure to seek medical treatment or delaying medical treatment will make the insurance company think that your injuries are not severe enough to deserve a settlement, or it could result in a reduced settlement that is not enough to cover your medical bills. So, no matter how severe or minor your injuries are, always seek treatment right away, as this will serve as evidence that you were injured and need to be compensated to help you pay your bills.
4. Accepting a Quick Settlement
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to offer a quick settlement before all evidence from the accident has been thoroughly evaluated. They do this to avoid paying too much money each year for accident claims.
However, you deserve a full and fair settlement that covers all your expenses and losses. This includes compensation for your medical bills and things like emotional distress and loss of wages. So you should never accept a quick settlement, even if you are desperate for the money.
You never know how much more the accident could affect your life down the road and what your total expenses and losses will actually end up being. So take your time providing sufficient evidence and work with an attorney who can fight for your rights to ensure the insurance company offers you the full settlement you deserve.
5. Not Gathering Evidence at the Scene
The evidence provided will play a significant role in how much money you are awarded. So the more evidence you provide, the better. Unfortunately, many injured victims will forget to gather evidence at the scene of the accident due to trauma and shock.
If you are seriously injured and immediately rushed to the hospital, it’s understandable that you might not be able to gather evidence. But if you remain at the scene and are capable, it’s important that you collect as much information as possible.
This includes taking photos of the scene, the car damage, and anything else that feels relevant to what caused the accident. You should also take pictures of your injuries. Witness information, such as names and phone numbers, will also be helpful if their statement is needed to corroborate your story and what happened.
6. Not Contacting a Car Accident Attorney
Even if you avoid all of the above mistakes, you will still need to work with an attorney if you want to get a full and fair settlement offer. It’s not easy to navigate a car accident claim on your own, especially if the insurance company is trying to offer you a reduced settlement or if the liable party is trying to deny fault.
An attorney can help you gather evidence, file necessary documents, and help argue your case to defend you against the other party’s accusations and the insurance company. They can help guide you through what to do after an accident and what you should say to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Our Indiana Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
At Crossen Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be to take appropriate steps after being involved in a car accident. When you are injured and in shock, navigating a personal injury claim can make everything feel even more stressful and overwhelming. Let us help you navigate your claim and avoid common mistakes after a car accident so you can focus on your rest and recovery.
Our team has over 20 years of experience helping victims like yourself—we know what it takes to increase the value of your claim to ensure you get as much compensation as possible.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, contact us on our website or call us today at (317) 401-8626 for a free consultation.