Many people feel unprepared and panic when they get into a motor vehicle collision. If you don’t prepare ahead of time, you can make mistakes at the scene of the crash or afterward that have a lasting effect on your life and your finances.
Avoiding the mistakes below can help you protect yourself and your right to make an insurance or civil court claim after a crash.
Moving vehicles without recording evidence
Taking photos and video footage of the scene of the crash is crucial if you need to reconstruct what happened to prove fault. If you move the vehicles before you take pictures, you may have a hard time proving exactly what happened.
Apologizing or admitting fault
Maybe you didn’t use your blinker, but the other driver had too much to drink. If you admit that you contributed to the crash, police officers or insurance adjusters might let the other party escape responsibility.
Even if you don’t directly admit to a mistake, apologizing to the other driver, insurance company employees or first responders can have the same effect.
Agreeing to handle the matter privately
Perhaps the biggest mistake that people make after a crash is agreeing not to call the police. Indiana state law mandates that you report collisions that cause injury or property damage. Without a police report, you will have a hard time getting the compensation you need from the other driver or their insurance company.
Putting politeness ahead of honesty
Telling the police what you suspect caused the crash can help them hone in their investigation. If you don’t report issues like impairment or distraction and then make claims about the behavior later, there may not be any documentation to support your allegations.
Declining medical evaluation
You hit your head on the steering wheel or passed out for a moment, but you don’t seem to have any serious injuries. You feel like you would rather just head to work late than go to the hospital and end up even later to your job.
A timely diagnosis can help you keep an injury from getting far worse. Brain injuries and internal bleeding can become life-threatening without timely treatment. A quick diagnosis will also make it faster and easier for you to connect your crash to your medical expenses and lost wages.
Settling a claim right away
Initial settlement offers are often far too low. You may need to negotiate to get what you truly deserve.