Things you should do after a car, truck or motorcycle accident
What you can do to protect yourself and others after you have been involved in a car accident. It’s important to understand in today’s world you have to be careful and aware of your surroundings after a incident occurs. There have been instances were someone actually creates a car accident with just a minor rear end hit, and car jacks you, robbery or worse. Be aware of your surroundings, if you don’t feel safe, don’t get out of your car.
1.Stay with your car, don’t leave the scene
You should always stay at the scene of the incident. The only way you should leave the scene of the car accident is in an ambulance or after the police have come and wrote up a report. As noted above, please be aware of your surroundings, if you don’t feel safe, don’t get out of your car.
2.Call the police or 911 immediately following the car accident
It’s important to call the police, even after a minor car accident. The police will write-up a crash report. Without an accident report or witness’s, you might not be able to make a claim against the at fault insurance company. If it was minor, a lot of times, people will swap driver and insurance info.
This might work out in the end if the at fault driver calls his or her insurance company and tells them they were at fault in the car crash. But what happens when they don’t call their insurance company? You should always get an accident report from the police if you are involved in a car accident.
3.See if anyone needs immediate medical attention
Check on passengers, and other drivers of vehicles to see if they need or require immediate medical attention. If passengers are in harm’s way and are unconscious, you might need to act accordingly. Do not concern yourself with property damage. So many people get out of their cars after a crash and worry about their car.
Car’s can be replaced very easily, people cannot. The time to worry about property damage comes later. Make sure no one is in need of immediate medical assistance. Usually when you do the following step above “calling 911 or the police” they will ask you if anyone is in need of immediate assistance.
4.Locate and talk to witnesses
If anyone is standing around or approached you and saw the accident, get their name, number, and address. Ask them if they can wait for the police to arrive to give them a statement. In some accidents that involve one or more at fault parties, a witness becomes very crucial in the insurance company determining liability. Some states can assign a percentage of blame on each involved party. An independent witness can offer an unbiased opinion as to how the car accident occurred.
5.Tell the police how the car accident occurred
The police are going to talk to you and ask you how the car accident occurred. In some cases people don’t want to talk to the police. If you don’t talk to the police, they will only have the other drivers word about what or how the incident was caused.
6.Call your insurance company
Call your insurance company immediately following your car accident. Many people are afraid to do this, they might think there rates will go up. You pay your insurance company premiums, they are there to work for you, and not anyone else. They need to know if you were involved in an accident.
Let’s say the other person’s insurance was not valid, you find this out 2 weeks later. You need to file a claim on your Uninsured motorist. Your insurance company is going to wonder why you did not call them in the first place, it makes you look bad. Also, if you are injured and have Med pay coverage or Pip, your insurance company needs to be aware of the car accident immediately.
7.Take pictures of the accident scene
Take pictures of the scene and your property damage. You may never need these, but if you ever do, you will be glad you took them. Most people never take pictures of the accident scene. One day , you might find yourself in court after having to sue the at fault party insurance company. Taking pictures is not must, but highly recommended if you have the means to do so. If you don’t have a smartphone, consider buying a disposable camera and leaving it in your glove box.
10.Do not talk to anyone other than the police
Other than asking if anyone is in need of medical attention, do not talk about the accident and whose fault it was. This might turn into a big argument at the scene. Imagine how this would look to the police officer pulling up to write out the report. It makes it look like neither one of you has any credibility.
11.If you are injured or feel discomfort, call the accident doctor
If you are injured or feel discomfort after a car accident, you need to go see a doctor right away. Some people don’t feel they were hurt at all, only to start hurting 3 days later. The faster you go see an accident doctor, the quicker you can get relief. Go to the doctor even if its just to get checked out. If the crash was your fault and you live in a pip state or have med pay, you can still go see your local injury doctor.
These are just a few helpful steps to do right after you have been involved in a car accident. Now, lets cover the mistakes that people make after an auto accident.
Mistakes people make after a car accident that can cause serious issues later
People make a lot of common mistakes after they have been involved in a car accident. Being involved in a car accident is the worst thing that can happen to you. And, most of us don’t really think clearly after an accident due to shock or even pain. This is when most people are starting to make mistakes. Mistakes that can harm you later on. If you know the common mistakes that people are making after a car accident, it will be easier to know what not to do. This can assist you in the court case later on if you did everything correctly.
These are some of the common mistakes people make:
1: Not phoning the police
One of the most serious mistakes that people are making a car accident, is the fact that they don’t call the police right away. They might think that the accident wasn’t serious or that you and the other party isn’t really injured and don’t need police at the scene. Not that this is a common mistake, people do do it from time to time
The rules and regulations of an accident clearly state that you need to call the police when an accident happens. No matter what the extent of the accident is or if there are anyone injured or not. With a police report, you will have all the information to go through once the shock wears off.
2: To think that you aren’t really injured
Adrenaline and shock can play a big part in thinking that you aren’t really injured. However, the moment that your body relaxes and shock wears off, you realize that you were injured after all.
This is a mistake that many people are making after an accident. Especially when they weren’t at fault. They underestimated their injuries and didn’t go to the hospital. This means that you can’t claim later on for your injuries if you don’t have the hospital report of the extent of your injuries.
These are some points to consider to ensure if you might be injured or not:
- The extent of the accident. If the cars are write-offs and you don’t feel your normal self, it might be a good idea to get a checkup.
- Other people are seriously injured in the accident and it doesn’t feel if you are injured in the process.
- When you feel lightheaded and you don’t feel like your normal self. Under the circumstances.
- You should go to the hospital if you are pregnant or have any other physical disability that can prevent you from realizing that you are hurt.
3: Admitting fault or saying “I am sorry”
Another common mistake that you can make just after an accident is to admit fault or to say “I am sorry” right after the accident. You might feel like the guilty party, but there are so many things that can make you the innocent party, and then you already have admitted guilt.
The moment that you are admitting guilt, the other party involved in the accident can take what you say and open a court case so that you can pay for the damage. And, even if the police reports stated that you were innocent, your word can count against you. Don’t say anything after an accident. Phone the police and wait for them to arrive. Asking if everyone is okay is something that you can ask, but don’t say you are sorry. Ever.
4: Not exchanging insurance information with the other party
The accident was minor and you didn’t call the police. You agree with the other party to go report the accident to the police station during the day. And, you are going apart. If you don’t exchange insurance information with the other party, you will not know where to contact him when you realize that the damage to the car is more serious or when someone in the vehicle is actually hurt. It is essential to get all the necessary information from the other person that was also in the accident. These are the information that you should gather just after the accident.
- Address-where he lives
- Phone number
- License number
- Insurance information
- Model of the car
- Extent of the damage to the car
This goes back to you should always call the police after a car accident. You need the police to come out and write up an accident report. There have been instances to where swapping information at the scene of the accident has worked out. But in most situations it’s always best to call the police.
5: Not gathering vital evidence
For most, this might sound like a common mistake to make, but in some cases, this information can be vital and then you don’t have it. This can end up as your word against the other person’s word.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, gather as many information as possible. Get the names and numbers of witnesses and taking as many photos as possible. You might not think that you will need it, but you don’t know what might happen later on. You might be hurt more than what you thought or the vehicles are more damaged than what you think.
The other thing that you should make sure about, is to get a copy of the police report. You need to go through the report before you leave the police station and make sure that all the information is correct. You should keep the police report with your other evidence safe until you might need it in the future.
6: You don’t understand your rights completely
People don’t really think that they are going to land in a situation where they are going to be in an accident. Another common mistake is they don’t really understand their rights completely when they are involved in an accident. This can lead to two things. They are admitting guilt, or they are saying and doing something that can hurt them in a court case. Or, they don’t know that they have the right to get the personal information from the other party and that they can open a court case for getting compensation.
By knowing and understanding your rights completely after an accident, you will know for sure that everything that you are doing and saying is correct and that you know what you are allowed to do or not.
7: You didn’t call your insurance company right away
With everything that is going on, you might forget to phone the insurance company. Or, you might think that this isn’t something that you need to do right away because there are other, more serious things to do. The longer you are waiting before you call your insurance company, the more you might struggle to put in a claim. After you have phoned the police, the next phone call that you are going to make is to the insurance company.
You need to make sure that you are thorough about what happened and how serious the damage on the car is. You also need to tell them if anyone is seriously injured. The longer you wait to call the insurance company, the more problems you might have. It’s also a good idea to call your insurance company because you are putting them on notice. If you have UM and the other party is not insured and you find out about this 3 weeks later, it looks bad on you. Avoid this common mistake and call your insurance company.
8: Not seeing a doctor is one of the most common mistakes after a car accident
If you don’t see a doctor soon after you have been injured in a car accident, you may not have any chance of filing a personal injury claim. Seeing a doctor is one of the most important things you can do after a car wreck. It is common for people to wait weeks to see a doctor. It’s very simple, if you are injured, see the doctor right away. If you cannot find a doctor, go to the ER.
Waiting to see a doctor
Don’t wait to see a doctor after you have been injured. Waiting may give assumption that you are not hurt. In some states if you wait too long, the insurance company will not pay for your medical expenses. States that have personal injury protection have stipulations that go with it. Florida for instance, puts a 14 day limit on medical care, you have to see a doctor within 14 days of the auto accident, if you don’t, you may have to pay for all your medical care.
Missed Doctor’s Appointments, Doctors advice
Do not miss any doctor’s appointments or disregard the doctor’s advice. This will show the attorney, doctor, and insurance company that you may not be injured and you are not taking your recovery very serious.
Do not procrastinate if you are injured. If you are waiting around after taken pain medication and muscle relaxers to see if you will get better you are doing yourself a disservice. Painkillers and muscle relaxers work and they work well, but they only help you function while you are in pain, they do not fix the pain. Don’t wait to see a doctor if you are injured. If you are hurt, make your injury a priority. You don’t want non treatment of a current injury to come back and hurt you years down the road.
9.Swapping insurance information, then leaving the scene
Don’t do this!!! You have absolutely no protection if you do this, you are at the mercy of the insurance company and the policyholder. A lot of personal injury attorneys have a saying, if you don’t have a police report it never happened. I’m sure the insurance company has this same moto. It’s perfectly fine to get the at fault party’s insurance information while you are waiting for the police to come.
Never leave the scene of an accident until the police tell you to. Many people have become victims of this swapping insurance info. If the other party does not admit they were completely at fault for the accident to their own insurance company, you may find yourself filing a claim with your own insurance company if you have the proper coverage. People may say they will pay you for the damage, only later to recant. Call the police.
10.Trusting the Insurance adjuster
Do not trust the insurance adjuster. Sure they will act like they are your best friend, this is to get information from you. Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, they are skeptical of anything you may tell them. Like a good neighbor, I think not. There job is to save the company money, and they don’t do that by giving it to you. Many injured victims have waited just because the adjuster said they were going to take care of everything, only to find out later it was not true. Don’t trust the adjuster, they are not your friend.
11. Getting solicited by attorney or doctor representatives
In some states it is illegal for anyone to contact regarding your accident. Accident victims can be solicited by representatives of attorneys , or doctors. Do not speak to these aggressive illegal runners. These individuals are paid money for every personal injury case they bring to a doctor or lawyer.
They are very savvy at getting accident information. They pay for your name and number from a variety of sources. These could be the tow truck driver, police, ER staff, records clerk, etc. In most states it is illegal to solicit these services.
12.Stating Facts about the accident
Putting Facts on Social Media
Tell the police what happened in the car wreck, but steer clear of telling anyone else what happened. Do not post your accident on all your social media, that’s the last thing you want to do. Do not give statements to the at fault insurance company until you have spoken with a personal injury lawyer
13.Giving a Statement to the at fault party’s insurance company
Giving a statement to the at fault party’s insurance company could be detrimental to your personal injury case. Make sure to seek a personal injury attorneys advice before speaking with the insurance company. Do not talk to the medical adjuster without consulting an attorney.
14. Cashing a check the Insurance adjuster sent you for your trouble
Do not sign any checks or deposit them into your account until you have consulted a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies may try to give you money in the form of a check for lost wages, pain a and suffering, etc. Do not take it unless you have spoken with an attorney. You may settle your personal injury case and not even know it. Insurance companies have been known to offer very quick settlements for injured parties before they even visit a doctor to see what the extent of their injuries are. Don’t fall for this
15. Consult a personal injury attorney
A consult does not mean hire an attorney. It merely means speaking with a personal injury attorney to know what your rights are and to understand what may or may not happen when you are dealing with the insurance company. If you have been injured make sure to speak with a reputable personal injury attorney. Many personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and it does not cost you anything to speak with them to see what they can do for you
We did not put in this article getting a personal injury attorney, merely consulting. It is good to know what your rights are after a accident occurs and speaking with an attorney certainly would help with that. However, you can hire a personal injury attorney at anytime throughout your medical treatment or even after you have finished treating. If you need legal advice, it is certainly advisable to contact an attorney who handles car accidents, and if you feel the need, hire them. If you need to find a good attorney in your area, contact us.
16.Not Understanding what type of insurance you carry
Many people have no idea what type of coverage they have on their car. Make sure you know what coverage you have on your car at the time of the auto accident. If you don’t have medical payments or med pay, make sure you check with your agent to see how it can help. All you medical expenses would be covered in the event you are injured in auto accident, no matter who is at fault if you have med pay.
Med Pay is not an expensive option and pays for itself with one time of using it. It also helps you reduce your medical expenses in the event you have a personal injury claim. Uninsured motorist is another option many people leave off their insurance. Um may cover things you never thought it would cover. It will cover if you were hit and the other driver has no insurance, it may also cover you if the person hit you and left the scene of the accident. Insurance is protection and you can never have too much. Do protect yourself with med pay and UM or uninsured motorist.
17. Not utilizing PIP and Med Pay
Some folks don’t want to use their own med pay or pip for medical treatment. If you don’t want to use it, why pay for it? PIP and medical payments pay for your medical treatment for you and anyone in your car. It would be wise to utilize what you pay for. And, you don’t have any outstanding medical bills that could possibly be turned over to collection.
After a car accident you could make mistakes that could cost you, or not. Please be careful who you deal with in these emotional times. A lot of people will want to take advantage of your situation. Don’t allow them to do this!!!.. Knowing what to do and what not to do after a car crash is one thing, you have to act.
If you have been injured in an accident, consult a doctor if you are injured as well as a personal injury attorney so you can know your legal rights and make sure you protect yourself and your family. We have doctors listed around the country on our website that treat auto related injuries. If you need a doctor, please use our search function find one, if we don’t have one in your area, contact us and we will try and find you one.