A car accident can shake anyone up. It is often hard to know where to start when it comes to picking up the pieces. However, some of the most common behaviors we see after an accident can lead to problems when you seek financial compensation later on.
To safeguard your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve, avoid these 4 common mistakes:
Not going to the hospital
Even following a minor accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In some cases, injuries that seem trivial are much more severe than you initially think. Alternatively, the symptoms of an injury may not be apparent right away. By visiting a doctor as soon as you can, you establish a record of medical treatment that can be very helpful in a personal injury case.
Many of us have heard this one before: Don’t apologize at the scene. However, there is some truth to this idea. Even if you believe something you did contributed to the accident, try not to say anything that could later be used against you.
Taking the insurance company’s first offer
Keep in mind that: insurance companies are businesses, too. Their primary goal is to make money, and the easiest way for them to do that is by settling your claim quickly and at a low cost. In many cases, the first offer from the insurance company is much lower than your claim is worth. Talk to an attorney before accepting a settlement offer from your, or the other driver’s, insurance company.
Many people share the instinct to insist their injuries are “not that bad.” Right after an accident, adrenaline is flowing, and you might feel fine. However, declining medical treatment or telling law enforcement that you are not hurt can be detrimental to your recovery from the insurance company. Plus, as discussed above, many people feel much worse the day after the accident than at the scene. There might be injuries you aren’t aware of or that get worse over time.
What should I do following an accident?
The best thing you can do after a car accident is to follow these steps:
- Assist anyone injured, call an ambulance if necessary
- Call the police and file a report
- Exchange only the essential info with the other driver (name, contact information, insurance information)
Finally, consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in Cleveland car accidents can help you determine what to do next. You might be entitled to compensation that will help you get back on your feet and back on the road.