A Car Accident Attorney Explains 10 Things You Should NOT Do After A Crash
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on June 5, 2017
Getting in a car accident is a traumatizing experience that often leaves victims shaken up for hours, and sometimes longer, after the accident occurs. Whether the car accident is a fender bender or an injury crash, stress from the accident can often cause people to not think clearly. However, in the unfortunate event of a car accident, it is extremely important that all parties involved remain as calm as possible, and properly document the event for insurance companies and lawyers.
As car accident attorneys with more than 45 combined years of experience practicing in Kentucky and Southern, Indiana, we’ve seen a lot of resources out there that outline what to do if you are in a car accident and how to handle the situation responsibly. Over the years, we’ve assisted many people injured in a car accident with insurance and settlement claims and through our work, we’ve learned a lot about what to do and also what NOT to do. Here’s a list of 10 things that you should NOT do after a car accident.
10 Things You Should NOT Do Following A Car Accident
1. Leave the Scene
Whether you are the cause of the accident or a victim, it is very important that you do not leave the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident can generate a lot of confusion, and even lead to serious court charges. Stay at the scene until the situation is fully resolved.
2. Decide to Not Notify Authorities
It is important to report every car crash that occurs to the police regardless of the severity.
3. Freak Out at the Scene
One of the most important things to remember during a car accident is to try to remain as calm as possible at the scene of the accident while waiting for the authorities to arrive. Depending on the situation, you may need to move quickly to safety so that you are not at risk of being injured from oncoming vehicles.
4. Forget to Document the Crash
Documentation is important at the scene of any car accident and photographs are the best way to document details of the crash for insurance companies and law offices. If your phone was broken or damaged during the accident, ask to use someone else’s and then email them to yourself using the borrowed phone, so you can access them in the future. Do not walk away from the accident crash site without documentation. It could be a critical piece of information for your court case or insurance claim.
5. Admit to Being at Fault or Take the Blame
You’ve probably heard it before, and now you’ll hear it again. Generally speaking it is not advisable to admit fault or take blame for the accident. Anything self-deprecating that you share with the other person involved in the car accident has the potential to be used against you. Keep conversation with the other party to a minimum until you have legal representation with you.
6. Refuse Medical Attention
More often than not car accident injuries are not immediately apparent. It is important to receive medical attention at the crash site if an emergency medical crew is present or at your local emergency room once you are able to leave. Injuries from car accidents occur in the smallest fender benders just like they do in rollover crashes, so unless you are 100% positive that you have not been injured in any way, do not refuse medical attention.
7. Throw Away Documentation Related to the Car Accident
No matter the size or severity of the accident, it is important to keep all documentation in a file for reference. Information that you will want to keep in a record includes: your insurance claim number and contact details of the adjuster handling your claim, contact information of all parties involved in the accident, and receipts from any expenses that resulted from the car accident.
8. Act as Your Own Lawyer
Depending on the severity of the car accident, the amount of damages, and the position you are in as the victim or the perpetrator, it is not advisable that you act as your own legal representation. This is especially true if you find yourself in a court battle for a settlement or compensation for damages and have no legal background or experience.
9. Accept an Unfair Settlement
If you do find yourself in court over a settlement, be clear on what you expect as compensation and do not accept anything that you deem as unfair or that you know will not cover the damages caused to yourself and your vehicle. Be aware that insurance adjusters are trying to settle at the lowest possible price in order to save their employers money. It is important to price damages to your car and ensure that you are getting enough to cover all repairs along with any medical bills or compensation for time missed at work.
10. Overlook Hiring a Lawyer
Regardless of the severity of your car accident, it is advisable that you sit down and weigh the pros against the cons of hiring a lawyer. Do not simply dismiss or overlook the benefits of hiring experienced legal help to get the representation you deserve in a car accident case.
While nothing can completely prepare you for the unexpected nature of a car accident, it is beneficial to know in advance some basic information about what you should do in the event of a crash. If you are the parent of a teenage driver, this information may be particularly important for you to understand and also to share with your teen.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident and are looking for experienced legal help from a car accident lawyer, contact the Cooper and Friedman law office now by calling 502-459-7555 to schedule a free consultation. Our car accident attorneys have over 45 combined years of legal experience successfully fighting for the rights of victims in Kentucky and Southern, Indiana.