When you’re hurt in an auto accident, how you respond to the situation can impact whether you’re able to receive a fair recovery for your damages. After an accident, victims often make mistakes that prevent them from getting the compensation they deserve.
While you may already understand what steps you should take after an accident, it’s also important to understand what not to do after an accident. Ensuring that you don’t make a common mistake after an auto accident can help both you and your experienced car accident attorneys develop a strategy for the best outcome possible. Here are ten mistakes you don’t want to make after an auto accident.
1. Not Calling the Police
The police officer that arrives on the scene can collect valuable evidence that can work to your favor. Even though the police aren’t really there to help you build your case, their work can be invaluable as a launching point for your claim for recovery. They track down witnesses, take photographs, and look at the scene on the road. The police often collect evidence on the scene that no one else can duplicate.
The police prepare a crash report that documents critical information. Also, if the other side gets a traffic ticket, that can be a great start to proving that they’re at fault for the crash. If you don’t call the police, the insurance companies and the jury may wonder why you didn’t think you should ask for a police investigation.
2. Admitting Guilt
It’s natural to want to resolve things as quickly as possible. One of the ways that you may try to do that is by apologizing for what happened. You may want to make yourself, or the other people involved feel better by saying “I’m sorry.”
Apologizing is highly inadvisable after a car crash. Nevada court rules allow the other side to tell the jury about things that you say. You may not even realize how something you say might negatively impact your case. Your best bet is not to say anything to anyone. Your lawyer can do the talking.
3. Failing to Gather Evidence
You can get your case off to a fast start by gathering any evidence that you can at the accident scene. Of course, if you have serious injuries, medical treatment should be your number one priority. After that, you should do everything you can to gather evidence.
Snap photos of the scene with your phone’s camera. Take pictures of your injuries. Write down names of witnesses and their contact information. Gathering evidence at the site of the accident gives your attorney a great place to start when they launch their investigation.
4. Skipping the Doctor
In addition to going to the doctor for your own health and well-being, it’s important to go to your physician in order to document your injuries. Your claim for recovery comes from your verified injuries. It isn’t enough just to say that you got hurt.
The better the job that you can do with creating a record of the exact nature of your injuries and prognosis, the better your recovery is going to be. Thoroughly documented injuries also make it more likely that the other side will agree to pay you a fair settlement without needing a trial.
5. Taking the Insurance Company’s Word For It
For every dollar that the insurance company refuses to pay you, they keep a dollar in profit. The insurance companies have an incentive to deny quality claims. They also have a reason to try to convince you that you’re getting a significant settlement when they’re getting away with paying you only pennies on the dollar.
It’s worth your while to ask an injury lawyer to evaluate your claim. They can give you the confidence to know that you’re getting a fair deal, or they can explain why you should continue to fight for justice.
6. Settling Too Quickly
The first settlement offer usually isn’t the best. Although it’s tempting to want to resolve your case as quickly as possible, you’re more likely to get a fair settlement if the other side believes that you’re serious about pursuing your case to the fullest extent of the law. Taking the time to build your case can convince the other party that you deserve much more than what they first offered to pay.
7. Waiting Too Long to File the Case
In Nevada, there’s a time limit for filing a claim after an auto accident. The insurance company might try to string you along, so time runs out. If you miss the deadline, you lose your chance to recover forever. It’s best to get the ball rolling as soon as possible even if you’re still recovering from your injuries.
8. Not Defending a Traffic Ticket
If the police give you a traffic ticket after the accident, it’s important to fight it. Although it may seem easier just to pay the ticket, giving up can make it harder for you to win your case in civil court. You have a limited period to request a hearing for the ticket. You can have your attorney represent you. Correctly responding to the ticket can help you pursue your case from every angle.
9. Skipping Parts of the Story
Your attorney is your teammate. They’re ready to help you get the best possible result in court. For that to happen, you need to be completely honest with your attorney at all times. If you tell your attorney the good stuff and the bad, they have time to react to it and prepare the best case on your behalf.
10. Not Asking Questions
Your court case is about you. It’s important for you to understand the legal process. Your attorney wants you to have confidence in your case, and they want to work with you to have a great experience with the Nevada legal system. There’s no question too small as you work with your attorney to prepare your case and fight for a fair recovery.
How Can an Car Accident Attorney Help?
At each stage, your car accident attorney can help you avoid errors. The sooner they get involved, the sooner they can work for you and with you to ensure that you’re making the best possible decisions in your case. By going at your case alone, it’s much more likely that you will make mistakes that will cost you in the long run.
It’s crucial for you to get a fair settlement for you to recover from your injuries and move on with your life. Making common mistakes after sustaining injuries in an auto accident can lower your chances of getting the compensation you need to recover fully. Together with your attorney, you can do everything you can to maximize your recovery and rebuild your life.