5 things not to do after a car accident
Being involved in a car accident can be enormously stressful. You might be injured and in pain, and your vehicle might be destroyed. Your adrenaline has probably kicked in and everything seems to be moving fast and slow, all at the same time.
It’s certainly an overwhelming situation, and the discomfort and uncertainty can last well into the future. But, even if you’ve never been in an accident before, you need to know what you should and shouldn’t do in the aftermath of your wreck so that you can protect your interests as fully as possible moving forward. This week let’s look at five things that you should absolutely avoid doing following a car accident.
- Forego medical care: Your health and safety is top priority. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, then you need to go to the doctor to get treatment. Some accident injuries that are severe in nature aren’t readily apparent, so you should do your best to catch them early to reduce the impact they have on you. Also, if you plan on pursuing a personal injury claim later on, then you’re going to need evidence that demonstrates the extent of your damages. Your medical records are a going to go a long way toward that goal.
- Fail to collect information: It’s not easy to think clearly after an accident, but before leaving the scene you need to gather as much information as you can. This means getting the name and contact information for other individuals who were involved in the accident, as well as their insurance information. Also, don’t neglect to speak with witnesses and police officers who may have seen or investigated the accident. You’ll want their contact information, too, so that you have the ability to use them as witnesses later on.
- Take the blame: Whatever you do, don’t apologize or otherwise take blame for the wreck. These statements can be used against you later on, which could severely jeopardize your ability to recover the compensation that you need. Try to make as few statements as possible and, when you do talk, couch your conversation in the facts that you know.
- Accept a bad settlement: Most personal injury cases result in some form of settlement. While one of these offers can be appealing given that it can provide you with quick closure and an infusion of cash, you should carefully vet any settlement offer before acting on it. After all, a lot of settlements are far too low. Know the facts of your case, your likelihood of success at trial, and how to competently negotiate for what you deserve.
- Not talk to an attorney: On their face, personal injury cases can seem pretty straightforward. In reality, though, they can be enormously complex. With so much on the line, you owe it to yourself to speak with an attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law. Only then can you ensure that you’re protecting your interests as fully as possible and maximizing your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Be holistic in taking care of yourself
Following a car accident, there’s a lot that you need to do to take care of yourself. You can’t overlook your physical, mental, or financial wellbeing. That’s why it’s imperative that you seek out the support that you need to not only get through this challenging time in the short-term, but also so that you position yourself for a successful recovery and long-term financial stability.