After a car accident, you’re probably thinking about what you need to do next. What you might not be thinking of, however, is what you should not be doing. You’ll want to avoid certain actions after a car accident in order to improve your recovery time, avoid implicating yourself, and get the best possible settlement.
1) Do Not Leave the Scene
Regardless of how minor the car wreck may be, it’s imperative you stay at the scene of the accident until you check on the other party involved, exchange the proper information, and report the event to law enforcement. If you do not do these things, you’re committing a crime and could be charged with a hit-and-run.
If you leave the scene of an auto accident you can be charged with a misdemeanor and a fine– depending on the outcome of the crash. You may also have to serve a sentence of jail time.
2) Do Not Neglect Medical Attention
The first thing you should focus on after an accident, if you’re in the position to, is calling 9-1-1. Regardless of how minor your injuries seem to be, you should seek medical attention. A proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment plan are important for the sake of your health and your car accident claim.
3) Do Not Forget to Collect the Proper Information
In order to file a proper car accident claim after a wreck, you’ll need to have certain information about the accident and from the other party involved. Try to replay the events in your mind and document everything you can remember.
Record the location of the accident, the time and date, as well as the condition of the road and weather. You’ll also need to speak with the other driver to collect their personal information: their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information. Make note of their vehicle’s make, model, and color, as well.
4) Do Not Admit Liability
Car accidents can be incredibly traumatic but try to refrain from saying anything to the police, the other party, or your insurance company that could implicate you. Do not claim responsibility for the accident, especially if you’re uncertain as to what actually transpired. This can have serious effects on your settlement offer.
Avoid discussing who may have been at fault, and never apologize for anything. An apology can be considered an admission of guilt by an insurance company.
5) Do Not Accept A Settlement for Less Than You Deserve
Once you reach the settlement stage, avoid accepting the first offer. You’ll want to carefully consider your medical bills, vehicle damages, and other related expenses before accepting. Negotiations may be necessary if you feel you are not being offered the compensation you deserve. If this is the case, and you haven’t already, it may be a wise decision to hire an attorney.
If you find yourself to be the victim of a car accident in Missouri, our Columbia auto accident lawyers can help you get the settlement you deserve so you can focus on getting your life back in order. Contact our office today for a free review of your case.