Car accidents are emotionally intense and trying to remain clear-headed after being involved in one is often difficult. In the moment, people may commit crucial mistakes that might not only ruin their case but unwillingly incriminate them even if they weren’t at fault. However, knowing what mistakes to avoid could help you get the compensation you deserve. Here are some of the mistakes you should avoid at all costs following a car accident.
Don’t Show Anger
Don’t get into a shouting match with the other party, even if they’re clearly at fault here. Keep your composure, especially when speaking with officials. Your tone and demeanor could actually play for or against you in your case, so at least try to stay calm when giving your version of events.
Don’t Leave the Scene
Leaving the scene might be the worst thing you could do. Not only will you have no case, but criminal charges may be added, and you could even go to jail. Even if you weren’t at fault, leaving could make you look guilty. So, make sure that you stay on the scene until either paramedics or officials tell you that you’re free to go.
Don’t Apologize or Admit Fault
You also shouldn’t admit to anything or apologize at any time. Even if you think you bear some of the responsibility, you never know if the other party is to blame too. Answer questions asked by officials, but never apologize or admit guilt. The other party could file a suit against you as a result. And if the other party is at fault, don’t blame them either, but do document if they apologize or admit fault at any point.
Do Not Speak with the Other Party’s Lawyer or Insurer
In many car accident cases, the other party’s lawyer or insurer will call you to get some information on the crash. While this may seem like a formality, they are doing this so they can fish for any information that could incriminate you or benefit their client. So, make sure to do not divulge any kind of information to them. Either refer them to your lawyer if you have one or tell them to contact your insurance company.
Do Not Settle Before Talking with an Attorney
Insurance companies will often try to settle as soon as they can. They know that victims are particularly vulnerable at this time and may have medical bills to pay. But you shouldn’t agree to settle without an attorney, especially if it’s the first offer. Auto attorneys will be able to tell you the real total costs of your injury and whether the settlement is favorable to you. They’ll also be able to get a much better settlement and decide to go to trial if they feel like it’s the right option.
Car accidents are never easy to deal with, but you could easily make matters worse by committing any of these mistakes. If in doubt, always make sure that you contact a professional and see what the proper course of action is in your situation.