Car accidents can have devastating effects on the lives of everyone involved. Dealing with injuries and navigating the complex legal system will take a toll on even the most resilient among us. However, a lot of the challenges people face along the way can be avoided by being mindful of what you do right after the accident.
Dan Zohar is a leading Tampa car accident attorney with more than 30 years of professional experience and thousands of successfully negotiated personal injury claims. Today, he is sharing the biggest mistakes plaintiffs make after a car accident.
1. Not documenting the scene of the accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, the first thing you will want to do is make sure everyone is alright. Once you make sure everyone is safe, start documenting the scene of the accident. Thanks to smartphones, practically everyone has a camera in their pocket all the times. You can use your phone to take as many photos as possible of the scene of the accident, car damage, skid marks, surrounding intersections and traffic lights.
Then, write down the licence plate number contact details of everyone involved. Feel free to exchange insurance details, but do not talk to the other side’s insurance company on your own. If there were witnesses around the scene of the accident, write down their contact details as well.
2. Not calling the police
While the police is not necessarily there to build your case for you and your attorney, their involvement can be vital. When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will create a detailed accident report you can use later on as evidence. They are trained to gather all the information that you might miss as a layperson or simply for being in the state of shock.
3. Admitting guilt
If you have been involved in a car accident, you might go up to the other participants to check if they are alright and in the heat of the moment apologize for what happened. This comes almost as second nature when we want to make others feel better. However, this can be considered as admission of guilt, which will have a negative effect on the outcome of your case.
4. Not seeking medical attention
A car accident is never a pleasant experience and most, if not all participants are usually left in a state of shock. As a result, you might overlook certain injuries that can quickly take a turn for the worse. Not only do some car accident victims underestimate their injuries, but they take a lot of time before seeking medical attention. Sometimes it takes hours or even days for symptoms to present themselves, but waiting for too long can look suspicious to the judge or the insurance adjusters.
5. Settling too quickly
Even if you are obviously entitled to compensation, the insurance company is likely to offer you an unfairly low compensation. Considering most plaintiffs want to just move on and forget about the accident, it should not come as a surprise that many accept the first offer that come their way. Instead, you should wait to make sure you know the extent of your injuries and damages, including your current and future medical bills and missed wages.
Schedule your free consultation today
If you or your loved ones were involved in a car accident, make sure to consult a personal injury attorney to discuss your car accident case. An experienced Tampa car accident attorney will guide you through the claims process and help you gather all the evidence you need in order to negotiate a fair settlement.