Most Common Mistakes After A Car Accident
Over the years, I have met with thousands of potential clients. Here are the mistakes our attorneys see over and over again. Living in California, no matter how careful you are, when you drive a car, it is likely you will be involved in at least one auto accident during your lifetime. It doesn’t have to be your fault. Remember, there are thousands of drivers in California. The best way to protect yourself and your passengers is to drive defensively and be aware of other driver’s behavior at all times. Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience. It will serve you well to know a few of the most common mistakes made after a California auto accident. Basically, what NOT to do after in the event you are involved in a California auto accident. Here are the top five mistakes our California auto accident attorneys see on a regular basis:
1. TALK TOO MUCH! Don’t Talk to the Insurance Companies
Everyone always gives a statement! You do not have to provide a statement. Especially to the insurance company of the at fault driver. If you are questioned by the other party’s insurance company, refer them to the following:
- Your insurance company;
- Police Report: (Don’t forget to have the police come to the scene!)
- Attorney: If you have retained California Auto Accident Injury Attorney
Remember! Insurance companies always want to avoid paying you, or any other claimant, the monetary compensation to which you are legally entitled. It is always best not to say the wrong thing, which is easy to say as a car accident attorney. Having handled thousands of California auto accident injury claims, our attorneys know what to say and what not to say. A simple word of advice, please do not say, “I’m sorry” to the other driver or his/her insurance company. Moreover, never admit to being at fault, or even partially at fault for causing the car accident. Many car accident claims become disputed because of a simple misstatement or overuse of the word ‘sorry’. The only insurance company that you should be talking to is your own, and in many cases, they will become adversarial depending on the specific facts of your auto accident. This is one of the many reasons it is best to contact a California auto accident attorney before speaking to any insurance company.
2. Find Out Who Caused the Auto Accident
In the confusion and emotional fog after an auto accident, do not forget to get the the identify the person who caused the accident. Write down the name, address, policy number and license number of the driver – as well as the plate number of the car involved. Also, write down the names and contact numbers of any passengers. You will not be able to file for damages if you do not know who you’re filing against. This is very important information.
3. Police: You Want A Police Report
If your property is damaged (car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, etc…) you should always contact the legal authorities to request an official police report. Why? Because insurance companies tend (not always) to subscribe to the opinions contained within a police report. Many times, the other driver will admit fault at the scene of an auto accident. Only to later change their opinion as to who caused the accident
Reasons People Change Their Story:
- Pressure: From family to deny responsibility. This is most common when the insurance policy was purchased by a family member (Parents Do Not Like High Insurance Premiums).
- Fear: Once the reality of causing a serious car accident sets in, fear will follow. Nobody wants to be financially responsible.
- Insurance: Insurance companies do not want to pay claims, so they will often manipulate the facts in an effort to avoid paying valid claims.
Further, if you suffer bodily injuries – no matter how minor you believe the injury to be – you must report the auto accident and your bodily injuries to the police. So please call 911 even if you are involved in a minor auto accident injury collision. The police officer’s assessment of the situation is important and you will need the police report to assist with both proving fault and to confirm your complaint of injury at the scene. This will protect you from a possible auto accident claim from the other driver and will assist in protecting you from having the insurance company deny your claim for injuries.
4. Pictures and Videos Are Powerful Storytellers: Take A Picture!
It is hard to contradict a photograph. After an auto accident, take photographs of the scene of the collision. Take pictures to demonstrate the damage of each and every vehicle involved; especially the other vehicles, as it can become hard to locate vehicles after an accident injury collision. In some cases, it can help to take photographs of the other parties involved in the collision. And always document any and all visible injuries you or anyone in your vehicle sustained in the car accident. It is hard to prove your leg or face was bruised and swollen if there are no pictures.
5. Is There a Doctor In The Room? Get Medical Treatment
Make sure a qualified medical profession provides an assessment of the extent and seriousness of your injuries – it will form part of your documentation. Take note of the doctors who treated you, what procedures were done and the medications you were prescribed. You will also need medical records and bills. These are always required by insurance companies when you file a claim. If you cannot obtain medical care, contact an auto accident attorney to assist you in obtaining medical treatment.
Top Ranked Car Accident Attorneys
If you are involved in a California auto accident and you or your loved ones were injured – it is in your best interest to contact a California car accident injury lawyer. You are entitled to make a claim for physical injury, reimbursement of medical expenses, mental distress, loss of income and other damages sustained in the auto accident. A lawyer can assess and protect your legal rights to compensation. If there is a liability dispute (who’s at fault) to your claim, a California car accident attorney will have the extensive knowledge of auto accident liabilities and will be able to prosecute your case and fight for your legal rights. They also know California laws pertaining to legal responsibility. They will help you identify who is really responsible for your injuries or losses – even those you haven’t thought about yet. If money is an issue, the California auto accident attorneys at The May Firm will not be paid unless you win your case.