5 Mistakes Made After Car Accidents in NC
A car accident is never a pleasant experience. Even the most minor fender bender means aggravation, time at the auto shop, and dealing with insurance companies. Moreover, a serious car accident could be a traumatic experience with lasting physical and financial effects for years to come.
As you can expect, what you do – and even more importantly – what you do not do immediately after a car accident has a substantial effect on whether you are able to be appropriately compensated for your injuries. Accordingly, in this article we will discuss the 5 mistakes that people make following a car accident in North Carolina. Being aware of, and avoiding, those common errors can go a long way in protecting yourself after an auto accident.
If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own circumstances, we welcome you to call the experienced auto accident attorneys at The Clauson Law Firm, PLLC. You can reach us at 833-680-0177 or fill out our online contact form. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.
Now, let us discuss the 5 mistakes people make after car accidents in North Carolina.
Mistake #1 – Leaving the Scene Without Calling the Police
One of the most important things you need immediately after a car accident is a report of what occurred, written by an objective third party who was not a part of the accident. If you call the police, then you will be able to have a police officer review the scene of the accident, briefly speak to the parties, and complete a report that makes an assessment of what happened, minutes after the accident occurred.
Without that information, you are left with a proverbial “he said, she said” scenario. And, more likely than not, the story of the person who was at fault will somehow change over time so he or she appears not be at fault at all.
Avoid that fate. After an accident, be sure to:
1. First, get yourself to a safe place to avoid further hazards,
2. Check with the other driver, and exchange information,
3. Call 911 (or the local police station in a minor accident), and then
4. Get medical attention, if necessary.
Mistake #2 – Failing to Seek Medical Attention
One of the most common errors we see people make is failing to seek medical treatment following an accident – even though they are injured. You may have the instinct to try and “shake it off,” or minimize the injury. Yet, after an accident, that is not a good choice in the long run.
There are several reasons why you need to seek medical attention. First, any injury requires medical attention. Even if you think that your injuries are very minor, some issues may not be readily apparent right after a car crash. Thus, having a doctor see you will ensure that you do not have any serious medical issues as a result of the accident.
Second, and just as important, an insurance company may view any delay in getting medical treatment as a sign that your injury is not serious. As you likely know, insurance companies have an incentive to reduce or eliminate the amount they need to pay. Accordingly, be sure to see a doctor right after an accident if you suffer any injury.
Mistake #3 – Admitting Fault
If police are called to the scene, then the officer may make a determination as to who was at fault. It is not for the drivers to decide that question. Thus, you should not give your assessment of your own fault in the situation, or to an insurance company, until you have spoken to an attorney.
Of course, you need to be helpful, but you also should protect yourself from legal liability. The priority after an accident is to make sure that everyone is not seriously hurt, and that you exchange the necessary documentation. Talking about who is at fault will not be constructive.
Mistake #4 – Losing Your Temper
There is no question that a car accident will likely get you upset. It is a stressful situation. Do not, however, take out that energy on the other driver, even if you think it was entirely his or her fault. Losing your cool is not acceptable here.
As noted, the only priority right after an accident is making sure everyone is safe. If there are injured parties, then they should get medical attention. Staying as calm as possible will minimize any issues given that you are already in a difficult situation.
Mistake #5 – Talking to an Insurance Company Before Talking to a Lawyer
It is not recommended that you talk to the other driver’s insurance company until you have spoken to an attorney first. It is common for the other driver’s insurance company to want to interview you, usually over the phone within a short time after the accident. Remember, you are not obligated to speak with the insurance company, and the insurance adjuster with whom you speak has an incentive to gather information that could later hurt your case.
Many attorneys, like the seasoned auto accident attorneys at The Clauson Law Firm, provide a free consultation. That means that you can have an initial meeting with an attorney about your case at no cost to you. You would be wise to take advantage of that opportunity before speaking with anyone else about the car accident, particularly the other driver’s insurance company.
Get the Help You Need from an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney in North Carolina
Following a car accident, you are likely concerned about your health; your family; and your ability to get to work, pay your bills, and repair your car. In addition, you will need to deal with an insurance company and perhaps even a lawsuit. That can be overwhelming for any of us. Make sure that you have an experienced auto accident attorney in your corner to help you with all of the issues surrounding a car accident.
At The Clauson Law Firm, we understand how to handle all the aspects of a car accident, and we have helped many clients through the legal, and personal, issues following their accidents. Let us help you as well. With big-firm resources, and a small-firm feel, The Clauson Law Firm will be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 833-680-0177 or fill out our online contact form.
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