The choices that you make right after can have a big effect on your future. Your decisions, conversations and actions can support your right to claim compensation from the other party or may leave you fighting an uphill battle to cover even the most basic of expenses.
When you know the most common mistakes that people make after a car crash, you will be in a better position to avoid committing those same blunders yourself.
Agreeing not to report the collision
Typically, drivers understand that state law requires making a report after a crash. However, if the damage seems minimal or the other driver seems cooperative, you may not see the point in waiting for the police and filing an official report.
Without a police report, you will have a difficult time asking for any insurance coverage. Additionally, if the other party refuses to pay you, it will be much harder for you to take them to court.
Moving on without medical care
Some people don’t understand the potential for invisible injuries, like a traumatic brain injury. Others think that whatever symptoms they have will be minor enough that they can deal with it themselves without professional support.
When you don’t see a doctor shortly after a crash, it will be harder for you to prove that the injuries you have are the result of a collision. If you develop worse symptoms later, the delay before diagnosis could give an insurance company or a lawyer representing the driver who caused the crash an easier time fighting against your claim for compensation.
Agreeing to make a recorded statement
Insurance companies want you to think of them as friendly and helpful. When you trust them to take care of you, you may overshare when talking with an agent. Especially when making an official statement about the crash, you could say something that affects your right to compensation.
Making a recorded statement, especially without your own attorney present, could lead to great difficulty getting financial support later.
Accepting the first settlement offer
Insurance adjusters have to balance the obligation to uphold policies appropriately with the need to protect company profits. Offering a low settlement that a claimant accepts in writing is a way for a company to seemingly uphold its policies while still reducing how much it actually pays. You need to be very skeptical of any settlement offer unless it represents the maximum policy limit.
Avoiding the most common mistakes made after motor vehicle collisions will help you protect your right to compensation after a wreck.