Common Mistakes People Make After an Accident
Posted on Monday, January 10th, 2022 at 4:02 pm
Car accidents never happen at convenient times. Rarely is anyone prepared with a checklist of things to do immediately after an accident. Unfortunately, that means people often make mistakes that can impact their ability to receive full restitution for the accident when the crash was someone else’s fault.
Here are common mistakes that happen after car accidents:
- Not hiring a lawyer: This is the number one mistake you can make after an accident. Many people assume that a lawyer is too expensive or unnecessary. However, a car accident lawyer, like the attorneys at Portner Bond, PLLC, is highly experienced in these cases. An attorney can guide you through the complicated process of filing claims, advocate on your behalf with insurance companies, and if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit to get you the compensation you deserve.
- Not seeking medical attention: After a car accident, you should always seek medical attention, regardless of whether you feel pain in the moment. The full extent of your injuries may not be evident right after the accident. Some injuries, such as concussions and internal bleeding, can take several days to become apparent. When they do, such injuries can have severe, even deadly consequences. Therefore, you should always get checked out by a medical professional. Beyond taking care of your health, seeking medical attention creates a record of your injuries. This record will be key evidence in your insurance claim or lawsuit.
- Failing to document the scene of the accident: After an accident, make sure you fully document the scene, including the vehicles involved, your injuries, debris from the accident, and the surroundings. Your photos or videos of the accident site will be critical evidence to help explain how the accident happened, what happened, and who was at fault.
- Apologizing to the other driver: It can be a very human impulse: to say you’re sorry to the other driver when you’re involved in an accident. You might think it’s just a gesture of kindness, but the other driver’s insurance company can twist your words and use them as a reason not to pay. Refrain from apologizing. An apology could be interpreted as an admission that you were at fault for the accident.
- Taking the first low-ball offer from an insurance company: Many people assume that the insurance company is on their side. Unfortunately, that is not exactly the case. Insurance companies are businesses. Their main goal is profit. That means they would prefer to settle your insurance claim with the least amount of money paid as possible, often woefully below what you need and deserve.
- Making a statement to an insurance company: It is very common for the other driver’s insurance company to call accident victims to try to elicit a damaging statement. Do not make a statement, especially a recorded statement, to an insurance company without first consulting with a car accident attorney. An attorney can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Waiting too long to file a claim: There are several reasons that waiting too long can be a mistake. First, the evidence does not last forever. It can get misplaced, deleted, or forgotten. It is best to act quickly to file a claim when the evidence is fresh and available. Second, according to Texas law, adult accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Two years might sound like a long time, but do not wait until the last minute. Legal paperwork and proper filing can take a lot of time to do correctly.
- Making false or exaggerated claims: Lying or exaggerating the extent of your injuries is a huge mistake, whether you do it at the hospital to a medical professional or on social media to your friends. If you make statements that are later found to be false, you create doubt that any of your statements can be believed. Insurance companies frequently look at social media for evidence of fraud or something that can be construed as fraud.
Contact Portner Bond, PLLC Today
Mistakes frequently happen after car accidents, especially when you are hurt, angry, afraid, or confused. The experienced Beaumont car accident attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC can help you avoid mistakes by handling your claim or lawsuit and advocating on your behalf, while you focus on healing and recovering. Don’t make the mistake of waiting. Call Portner Bond, PLLC at (409) 838-4444 today for a free consultation about your car accident.