What NOT To Do After A Car Accident
Most Georgia drivers have a good idea what to do following a car accident. Check everyone for injuries, contact the police to report the accident, and exchange insurance information with the other drivers. However, it’s also important to know what not to do. Some actions, even though they may seem innocuous or genuinely helpful, can lead to liability for the accident. Keep the following tips in mind after a car accident, so you don’t wind up facing liability unjustly.
Do Not Admit Fault
Under no circumstances should you admit fault for your accident, even if you know you are at least partially to blame. When the police arrive, they will investigate and interview the drivers and witnesses involved. Answer their questions honestly and concisely and be very careful of your word choice. It’s common for a police officer to construe phrases like “I’m sorry” as admissions of guilt. Do not admit fault to anyone else at the scene, either. They may report what you say to the police or other investigators, and this can seriously complicate your situation.
Additionally, it’s possible to believe you are at fault for an accident when you are not. It is not possible to know every detail of a collision immediately after it happens, so focus on reporting the truth to investigators and then have your attorney review the details of the situation.
Do Not Put Your Health at Risk
If you sustain injuries during a car accident, do not move if it is painful to do so. The adrenaline in your system after a crash will dull pain, so any pain you feel will likely be much worse once the adrenaline in your system dissipates. You may also unwittingly make an internal injury worse by moving, so wait for emergency responders unless you absolutely must leave your vehicle, such as in the event of a fire.
As soon as the police arrive and give you permission to leave, seek medical attention immediately, even if you believe your injuries only include minor scrapes and cuts. Many injuries do not manifest noticeable symptoms for some time, and you may make an existing injury worse by delaying treatment. You could also hurt a future lawsuit because a jury will assume your injuries couldn’t have been as bad as you claim.
Do Not Forget to Gather Evidence From the Crash Scene
After a car accident, the police and road maintenance workers will move quickly to clear away damaged vehicles and debris, so traffic can continue as usual. This will destroy valuable evidence, so you should use your phone’s camera to take pictures of the scene before this happens. Take photos of your injuries as well as pictures of the vehicles, skid marks, debris, and any nearby landmarks. These photos will be invaluable during a lawsuit and will help the jury form a more accurate picture of how the accident transpired, and who is at fault. You should also gather the contact information from any witnesses.
Do Not Accept Any Insurance Offers
Before signing any paperwork from an insurer, or ideally before you have any contact with any insurers, seek legal representation from a reliable attorney. Have your attorney handle all your dealings with insurers, as insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. They will typically offer as low a settlement as possible at first in the hopes that the claimant accepts it and moves on instead of trying to secure more compensation.
Keep these tips in mind for any car accident and remember that your attorney will be a crucial source of information and guidance throughout the legal process. One of the main things to do after a car accident is to seek legal representation. An attorney can help you take the right steps. Contact Kaufman Law to discuss your potential car accident claim.
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