Being involved in a car accident can be an emotional and stressful event. You may not be thinking clearly and could potentially make several car accident mistakes that could affect your rights and your insurance claim later.
Mistake #1: Admitting Fault
While you may initially think you were responsible for causing the accident, this is not always the case. Never admit you were wrong. Even partially admitting responsibility for the accident can impact what damages you can collect for personal injuries and to repair/replace your car.
Mistake #2: Not Seeking Medical Care
Even if you only have a few minor bruises and scrapes, you will want to be examined by a medical professional to ensure there are not greater injuries. Many injuries can remain hidden at first and not start to appear until a day or two after the accident.
Mistake #3: Not Contacting a Car Accident Lawyer
Most people do not fully understand their legal rights, regardless of fault for the car accident. Talking to a lawyer will help prepare you and let you know what steps you need to take next. Plus, your lawyer will let you know exactly what you should say to your insurance company and what to do if the other party’s insurance company attempts to contact you.
Mistake #4: Attempting to Reach an Insurance Settlement on Your Own
Let’s face it. Insurance companies are in business to make money, not pay out damages in claims. This means their common interests will not completely be in agreement with yours. Furthermore, insurance companies have their own teams of legal experts and lawyers they use to know how to try to get you to settle quickly.
If you agree to settle with your insurance company or the other party’s, you could potentially be settling for less than you are entitled to receive. In addition, you could be limiting yourself from reimbursement for future medical claims.
Mistake #5: Not Documenting the Accident Correctly
You will want to call the police and get a police report. You should attempt to take pictures of the accident scene. You will want to get contact details for any witnesses. You will want to make sure to get the other party’s insurance information and name from the police officer.
You should write down the make, model, license plate, and description of the other party’s vehicle. In addition, write down your own account of the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. Note the weather and road conditions, as well as the time of day.
It is important, no matter how stressful the situation is, to attempt to remain composed and concentrate on the facts. This will allow to process the accident in a logical manner and avoid making mistakes.
If you have sustained personal injuries from a car accident, regardless of fault, it is always in your best interests to get sound legal advice from one of our Houston car accident lawyers. Please feel free to contact Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. at 713.574.5089 for a free consultation today!