Getting into an accident can be a frightening experience. Being shaken up could lead to you making mistakes in judgment that could lead to further injury or affect your right to receive compensation for your accident. Here's what you should avoid.
Leaving the Scene
Staying at the scene of the accident means much more than just not flooring it and running away. Try to avoid moving your car whenever possible as the position of the vehicles is an important part of the accident report. You also don't want to leave without getting checked on by the ambulance. Some personal injuries take time to show, and not getting your injuries documented before you leave can harm your chance of proving them later.
Telling People You Don't Need Help
Other motorists will probably stop to make sure you're OK. Don't just tell them you're fine and they can go. Ask them if they saw the accident. If they did, take down their contact information and license plate number as a potential witness. Even if the other driver already admitted fault to you, they could change their story once the police arrive or the insurance investigation starts.
Skipping the Police Report
Always get a police report even if you will have to wait for them to arrive. The police investigation can be important evidence in a personal injury claim. Police reports are also typically legally required if someone was hurt or if there was significant property damage. If you don't get a police report, the other party may try to say that your accident wasn't serious and your claim should be dismissed.
You only have so much time to file an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. Know what these deadlines are, since missing them could waive your right to recover. Don't wait until the last minute either, because it takes time to do the paperwork.
Not Contacting an Attorney
You should always contact an attorney to discuss your rights. Even if you think the other party or their insurance company will pay you, you may not understand the full compensation you're entitled to. In addition, if they start giving you trouble after time has passed, it could be difficult to gather the evidence you need or prepare your lawsuit in time to make the court deadline.
To learn more about the right way to handle your car accident and bring your personal injury claim, contact a local personal injury attorney.