Car accidents can be disorienting and stressful, often leading to poor decisions in the heat of the moment. And, unfortunately, these hasty choices can have long-lasting repercussions. If you find yourself involved in a car accident, you should avoid making the same mistakes.

  1. Admitting Fault at the Scene

In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you might feel compelled to apologize or admit fault, especially if you think you might have contributed to the incident. However, it’s crucial to avoid making any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. The dynamics of a road accident can be complex, and fault isn’t always clear without a thorough investigation.

  • Keep your interactions factual and limit your conversation with the other party involved in the accident. 
  • Focus on exchanging necessary information like contact details and insurance information. 
  • Let the police and insurance investigators determine fault based on evidence and expert opinion.
  1. Neglecting to Document Evidence

After ensuring everyone’s safety, one of the next critical steps is documenting the accident scene. A lot of people fail to take photos or gather witness statements, both of which can be invaluable during insurance claims or legal issues.

Use your smartphone to take pictures from multiple angles of all vehicles involved, capturing the damage and the overall scene, including traffic signs and road conditions. If there are witnesses, politely ask for their contact information. This documentation can provide a clear record of the event and help establish the facts later.

  1. Delaying Medical Examination

Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, injuries, especially internal ones, can go unnoticed initially due to the adrenaline rush and release of endorphins. Ignoring or delaying a medical examination can not only jeopardize your health but also weaken your claim to insurance benefits, as insurers may argue that the injuries aren’t related to the accident.

It’s a smart idea to visit a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. You don’t have to take an ambulance ride there, but you should get an appointment. This isn’t just crucial for your health – it also results in medical records that serve as evidence should you need to make an injury claim. Remember, the longer you wait, the harder it might be to prove that your injuries were a result of the accident.

  1. Not Reporting the Accident to the Police

Sometimes, if the accident seems minor, you might think it’s not necessary to involve the police. However, having an official police report can be critical, especially if there are any disputes about the accident later on. Without a police report, it can be more challenging to file an insurance claim or defend yourself if claims are made against you.

Even if the accident is minor, call the police. They will document the scene and produce a report that details their findings. This report is an essential piece of documentation for dealing with insurance companies and other drivers.

  1. Underestimating Losses

At first, you might assume that the car accident wasn’t that serious. After all, you feel alright and only had a quick trip to the emergency room. Plus, your vehicle looks like it only took some damage to the bumper.

But here’s what you don’t know: That emergency room bill is going to cost you $9,000. And, on top of that, your doctor wants you to participate in some physical therapy sessions for the next three months, which will be several thousand dollars more. As for your vehicle, the mechanic is actually going to find some damage to the engine, which is going to cost several thousand dollars more in repairs than you’re anticipating. In other words, your losses are actually quite substantial. 

“Many people underestimate their losses, as they fail to consider all possible compensation they deserve for a fair recovery,” attorney Mickey Keenan admits.

The worst thing you can do is assume that this car accident isn’t that big of a deal. It’s possible that it’s not – but you want to hire an attorney to give you their professional assessment before moving on too quickly.

  1. Not Contacting Your Insurance Company Promptly

You might hesitate to contact your insurance company because you fear that your premiums will go up. However, timely reporting of the accident is typically required by your insurance policy, and failing to report it can lead to a denial of coverage.

Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after the accident. Provide them with all the necessary documentation and your account of the incident. This will get the process rolling.

Don’t Get Victimized Twice

If you aren’t careful, you can unintentionally make some of the mistakes highlighted in this article and essentially become a victim of your own carelessness. But you don’t have to go down this road. By educating and surrounding yourself with the right information and people, you can be sure that you respond with precision and focus. Good luck!