In Your Town. On Your Team.

Request Free Consultation

Common Mistakes After a Car Accident

car accident mistakes

After suffering from a collision, drivers must take certain actions to receive compensation for vehicle damages and personal injuries.

Kentucky drivers need to know what to do and what NOT to do after a car accident to avoid these car accident mistakes.

After being involved in an auto accident, it’s understandable to want to put the event behind you as quickly as possible. However, agreeing to a quick settlement offer without first consulting an attorney serves the insurance company’s interests, not your own. 

car accident

A personal injury attorney is the best launching point for your case and serves as your advocate, carefully reviewing all details of your personal injury case to build the strongest argument for receiving full and fair compensation. They will gather information from responding officers, medical examinations, and other evidence to demonstrate the at-fault driver’s negligence as well as the true extent of damages you have incurred.  

While recorded statements, signed documents, and conversations with insurance company adjusters may seem innocuous, anything you say can and will be used against you to lowball a settlement offer. Without adequate representation, car accident victims may leave countless dollars on the table, receiving only pennies compared to potential compensation from a significant settlement.

It’s in your best legal and financial interests to refrain from accepting premature offers or signing away your rights. An attorney knows how to navigate the insurance claim process to maximize your recovery while you focus on healing from your injuries.

Equipped with years of experience handling personal injury cases, they know what mistakes to avoid and have the leverage to negotiate firmly with insurance companies known for employing ruthless tactics to improve their bottom line at your expense. 

Don’t go it alone against the insurance company giants without the power of legal counsel in your corner. Consult a trusted car accident attorney before agreeing to anything or jeopardizing your opportunity to be made whole again. With strong representation, you put yourself in the best position to recover every available dollar from the other driver you are rightfully owed.

In this blog, we discuss common mistakes after a car accident, and we detail essential steps you need to take if you’re involved in a collision. 

Not Calling 911 or The Police

When becoming involved in an accident, the first thing you need to do is assess whether you, your passengers, or anyone else involved in the auto accident is injured.

If someone has suffered from an injury, you need to call 911.

If no one is injured, you shouldn’t call an emergency line, but you still need to report the accident. Calling the police is essential for your accident claim, and if the collision results in an injury or over $500 in property damage, you are legally obligated to report the wreck as an accident report will need to be written.

Saying Too Much

property damage

While you wait for a police officer to arrive at the accident scene, you need to know what not to say after a car accident. A common mistake is not being prepared when giving your official police report. You should avoid admitting fault or even apologizing after a wreck. Even if you think you were responsible for the accident, there could be multiple factors that contributed to the collision.

If you admit fault or say you’re sorry, the other driver’s insurance company can use that as proof that you’re liable or that their client is not responsible for the wreck. You need to talk to the other drivers to exchange insurance information, but try to avoid discussing the accident as much as possible.

You also need to know what to say after a car accident. Once the police arrive on the accident scene, you need to answer their questions from the responding officer honestly, but don’t overshare or discuss information that they do not ask for.

Anything you say at the scene of an accident can be used against you during the claim process. Be direct about all facts related to the auto accident, but don’t extrapolate or make guesses as to the cause.

When police respond to an accident it is often very helpful when you seek compensation, as you can access the crash report if you need to prove you were not at fault.

Failing to Gather Evidence

To prove your claim or show that you’re not liable for an accident, you need to collect evidence.

mistakes car accident

While at the scene of the accident, you can gather essential proof by taking pictures and videos with your smartphone. Look for things such as skid marks, broken glass, or obvious signs of what may have caused the accident.

Additionally, you can gather first-hand accounts from anyone who witnessed the wreck. Make sure to always collect the names and contact information of eyewitnesses. You should also exchange information with the other driver or drivers of any vehicles involved, including their driver’s license. Ask them about whether they have an insurance policy, as well, and collect their insurance information.

In addition to taking personal videos and photos with your cell phone, you can use other video and photographic evidence that may have captured the event. A traffic camera or security camera may have recorded the accident or events leading up to the accident.

This footage can provide invaluable evidence for proving your claim or proving that you’re not liable for the wreck. Obtaining this type of evidence can be difficult, so you’ll need a car accident attorney to assist you. 

Keep track of everything you’ve recorded and contact information you’ve gathered and keep everything in a safe place so as not to lose accident documents. These can often prove vital when talking to an insurance adjuster about your claim.

Not Seeking Immediate Medical Attention

Even if you don’t suffer from any apparent injuries after a vehicular accident, or feel that you don’t need to go to the emergency room, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible.

You may have suffered from delayed onset injuries during your wreck, meaning that the injuries you sustained don’t become evident until later and may require medical treatment. If you fail to undergo a medical examination and then discover an injury, you’ll have a much harder time proving that you were hurt in the auto accident. You may also need more extensive medical treatment if it is delayed.

When filing a personal injury claim, you need to draw a direct relation between your injuries and the event in question. If you fail to seek immediate medical attention and have injuries resulting from the car crash, you’ll have a much harder time proving that connection to the insurance companies. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help offer guidance on this, as well.

Not Keeping Proper Documentation

Common mistakes after car accidents include not keeping track of everything related to injuries.

To strengthen your claim, you need to keep a record of your medical bills and any other expenses related to your car accident injuries.

You should also document conversations that you have with a medical professional and ask for a copy of your medical records. You also need to keep a journal recording your overall pain levels and any limitations you experience due to your injuries. You can use these different documents as proof that you suffered injuries from the car crash and that your injuries caused pain and suffering, as well as temporary or permanent disabilities that impact your ability to work. 

Keep track of any time that you needed to miss work or accrued lost wages, such as full days due to pain or hours taken off to attend doctor or physical therapy appointments. Talking to a car accident attorney can give you additional insight into what information you should collect about your injuries.

Discussing Your Accident or Injuries on Social Media

One of the biggest mistakes to avoid after suffering from a collision is posting on social media.

Insurance companies look for ways to deny or underpay claims, and if you post on social media that you’re feeling or recovering well, the other driver’s insurance company can use that as evidence that your injuries are not serious. Additionally, if you post a picture where you’re doing physical activity — such as hiking — an insurance company will use that as proof that the wreck did not cause significant injuries.  

If you can help it, avoid using social media entirely while you’re in the middle of your car accident claim. Never mention the other parties involved or their insurance companies on social media, either.

Signing a Document or Taking Part in a Recorded Conversation

If an insurance company or another company involved in the car crash case wants you to sign something, you need to consult with an attorney immediately.

Insurance adjusters may not tell you that you have other legal options, but it’s essential to know that you do. The document could contain legal nuances that you’re unfamiliar with, and signing it without legal representation can greatly reduce the amount you can recover in damages, or it could ruin your claim entirely. You should seldom accept the first settlement offer that you receive, especially if you have not talked with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Additionally, you should never take part in a recorded conversation or offer a recorded statement without an attorney. If an insurance company attempts to contact you about your claim, do not talk to them without a car accident lawyer.

Anything you say to an insurance company can be used against you and may adversely affect you receiving fair compensation.

Fighting Your Case Without a Car Accident Attorney

The legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer is critical for either proving a claim or proving that you’re not liable for an accident.

An attorney will greatly enhance your likelihood of proving your case and receiving more money from the insurance company for a truly fair settlement. And if you’re filing a claim, they’ll work to maximize the amount you’ll receive in damages.

You may be able to recover compensation from the other party for property damage, bills from medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, and more. Significant settlements are far more likely to occur when a lawyer is involved.

McCoy & Sparks- Kentucky Car Accident Lawyers

Know what mistakes to avoid after a car accident. For expert car accident legal support you can count on to protect your legal rights in Central Kentucky, contact the lawyers at McCoy & Sparks Attorneys at Law to handle your personal injury case.

We have your best interest in mind and know how to handle insurance companies and their methods.

Call us today at 844-459-9467 or get a free consultation here