No one expects to get into an accident when they get into their car, but they happen every day. Even if it’s only a minor accident, everyone involved is likely to be shaken up. Understandably, you might not know the next best thing to do after an accident. You might be overwhelmed or disoriented after an accident, but what you do in the following moments matters and could impact how much financial compensation you can receive.
Some people make small mistakes after a car accident that could end up making things harder for them. Here are five of the biggest mistakes made after a car accident that you need to avoid.
1. Failing to Contact the Police
Not everyone understands the importance of contacting the police for an accident. If it’s not extremely serious, some might not think it’s necessary. However, you should always contact the police after an accident, even if it’s a minor one. Police can help collect essential evidence from the accident scene that you might miss on your own, and their documents can be a huge help later. Never think that your accident doesn’t need a police officer present, as they can provide safety for accidents of any size.
2. Neglecting to Get Medical Help
Some might think that if they were injured after a car accident, they’d know it right away. However, this isn’t the case for some who have been injured. After such a jarring event, you’re going to have a lot of adrenaline flowing, which can impact how you feel. Because of this, you could have an injury but not feel like anything is wrong. You also shouldn’t assume an injury is too minor to require medical help. Neglecting to get medical help can make a difference in how you actually recover. Having a medical record showing that you were injured in the accident and needed medical help will also be important to help you receive compensation for the injuries.
3. Oversharing with Insurance Adjusters
Car accidents are a common occurrence, so some people might think they can handle this alone or may not be aware that they need legal help. If you are injured, then discussing any of your injuries or medical treatment with an insurance adjuster is oversharing and a huge mistake. Do not discuss your injuries with any of the auto insurance carriers, even your own. In the first few weeks, discussing your injuries and how you will heal is simply speculative and requires guessing. Do not do that! Nice people make the mistake of oversharing to the insurance carriers about their injuries, which can seriously affect how much compensation they receive. Many people don’t receive the amount of compensation they deserve after a car accident, and trying to do this by yourself is a huge challenge that likely won’t have the outcome you want. A car accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO, may be able to help if you are hurt and greatly increase your chances of getting the compensation that you deserve.
4. Accepting an Early Settlement
This is by far the most common mistake, and it is devastating to injured people who need a lot of medical treatment. If you are hurt, then accepting the first settlement is most generally a mistake. Again, each case depends on the facts involved, including how the crash happened, medical treatment needed, and insurance coverage. If you are hurt, then the smart thing for an insurance adjuster to do is offer you a settlement before you actually find out what is wrong with you. You should know that once you accept a settlement and deposit funds, you are usually forever barred from making a further claim regardless of the merits of your claim. That is extremely frustrating for many people that call us after they have settled in the first few months, only to discover they need surgery or a lot more treatment.
5. Procrastinating and Putting Off Consulting an Attorney
We know that putting things off almost always works out very badly. Right after a crash, especially if you are hurt, it is essential that you contact an attorney right away so that they can work on gathering evidence and building your claim. After a crash where you are hurt, you need to focus on getting medical treatment and returning to some sense of normal. Waiting to get legal help is almost always a mistake. Simply, there is some evidence that simply will go away unless it is recovered right away. Likewise, an expert attorney will have a plan that has a focused strategy to look out for you while you are getting the medical help that you need.
Even if you don’t know if you need a lawyer, you should contact a personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents to ensure you get help on time if you do need it. An expert car accident attorney can advise you of the first steps and assist you in determining if you even need legal help. Not everyone needs an attorney, but you want to take the correct steps to preserve your right to compensation. We can help.
Going without legal help can make the aftermath of a car accident much harder than it needs to be. At The Cagle Law Firm, we can provide the help and guidance you need after an accident to ensure that you’re doing everything just right.
To learn more about getting help after a car accident, contact The Cagle Law Firm toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681.