Even minor motor vehicle accidents can be extremely scary, and unfortunately, they’re all too common. In 2015 alone there were 32,166 fatal motor vehicle crashes and nearly 2.44 million people injured as a result of accidents on the road. Whether you’re in a small fender bender or become the victim of a drunk driving accident, it’s likely that emotional tensions will be running high. Regardless of whether you’ve sustained serious injury, you may be prone to making some of these common mistakes at the accident scene. And unfortunately, these missteps can cost you big time.
5 Common Car Crash Mistakes
1. Not getting enough information
One of your most important tasks following an accident is to gather information. You’ll need the other driver’s full name, address, contact number, and license plate number at the bare minimum. You may also want to find out the make, model, and year of the car. You should also collect the other driver’s insurance information, including their policy number and the insurance company. Finally, obtain the name and contact info for the police officer(s) on the scene, especially if a report is filed.
2. Forgetting to take photos
Documenting important information in writing is important, but photos can be a huge help, too. You should take photos of your car, the other vehicle, and the area surrounding the crash. This can be integral to your claim. You can also take photos of the other driver’s insurance card and driver’s license to be on the safe side. If you’ve sustained injuries in the crash, many personal injury attorneys advise you should snap some photos of those, too.
Your first inclination after an accident may be to apologize to the other driver or to a police officer. Resist this urge. Saying you’re sorry (even if you’re merely expressing sympathy) can be interpreted as admitting fault. Whether or not you’re truly to blame, don’t ever say so. Otherwise, you may be held financially responsible and your car accident attorney will have an uphill battle ahead of them.
4. Refusing medical help
Victims of motor vehicle accidents often don’t realize the extent of their injuries right away. Because of the extra adrenaline, you might not think you’ve been hurt or you might downplay how serious the injury really is. In most circumstances, it’s a good idea to either seek emergency medical attention or get checked out by your own physician as soon as possible. That way, any injuries you’ve sustained will be documented properly and you’ll be in a better position to pursue a claim. Plus, you’ll get the medical assistance you truly need and can start healing more quickly.
5. Failing to contact an attorney
Following their motor vehicle accidents, a lot of folks think they can negotiate directly with the insurance companies or pursue a claim without a lawyer’s help. Ultimately, no one is going to look out for your rights except you and your attorney. If you try to navigate the legal system on your own, you’ll more than likely end up paying for it. Car accident cases can be extremely complicated, depending on the circumstances. It’s usually best to have someone on your side who understands these complexities and how to fight on your behalf.
Even when the situation could have been much worse, you should not take motor vehicle accidents lightly. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget about the proper procedures to follow. But by avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be able to pursue a claim and defend your rights, if necessary.
Get Help From A Portland Car Accident Attorney
At Mayor Law, it is our goal to help the victims of motor vehicle accidents achieve legal justice and recover the financial resources needed to help restore their lives. Portland car accident attorney Travis Mayor will build your case to maximize financial compensation, while removing the confusion and hassle of dealing with insurance companies and their legal tactics.
Travis Mayor has recovered millions of dollars for his serious motor vehicle accident clients. For every client, Travis offers personal service with proven results. Please review our clients’ personal accounts of working with attorney Travis Mayor: Google+, Yelp, and AVVO pages.
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