If you have been involved in a car accident, there is a strong instinct to let your adrenaline take over. This can ultimately lead to making bad decisions that impact your insurance claim, puts you or other people in unsafe situations, and can even lead to you violating legal guidelines for handling an accident. After the accident, make sure that you and all of your passengers are safe and secure, and then make sure that you DO NOT do any of the following.
If you have been injured in an accident, schedule an initial consultation with the team at Cambre & Associates to discuss your case, and read more below about things you should absolutely not do after a car accident.
When you are in an accident, it can be extremely upsetting. One of the most important things to do is remain calm and collected while you are assessing the situation. Elevating your stress levels will only exacerbate the situation, and could even lead to additional injuries. Take a deep breath, make sure that you and your passengers are safe, and keep your cool while you are dealing with the accident.
Don’t Leave The Scene
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Georgia (as in every other state), and one that can seriously complicate things for you. Pull over, return to the scene, and make sure that you exchange information with the other person involved in the crash. Even if you don’t think that there was any damage or any injuries, you must stop and speak with the other person involved before you drive away.
Don’t Forget To Call the Police
In any situation where there is damage done to your or the other driver’s vehicle, you should call the police. For one, the police will be able to divert traffic around the scene of the accident, which keeps you, your passengers, the other driver and their passengers, and everyone else on the road safe. In addition, it establishes an official record of the accident, which will be referenced often if you need to seek damages through a lawsuit.
Don’t Forget To Exchange Information
Before you leave the scene of an accident, make sure that you get all relevant information from the other driver. This includes their car registration, license, name, address, and insurance information. Make sure that you physically see their driver’s license and car registration, to be sure that it is them and that you can reasonably trust that the information they give you is accurate and truthful. This is another reason it is a good idea to have the police on the scene.
Don’t Skip Medical Treatment If You Are Hurt
If you are injured to any extent, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if your injuries don’t require a trip to the emergency room in an ambulance, you should establish an official medical record of your injuries as soon as possible by visiting your physician. If you wait to report any injuries, it may seem suspect to the insurance company or judge that the injuries were actually related to your injury.
Don’t Admit Fault
Your insurance policy likely has a stipulation that contractually obligates you to not admit fault during an accident, or they will not cover you. Although it seems natural and polite to take ownership of a situation or apologize profusely, this is not what you should do. Instead, check to see if the other driver is injured, be polite and helpful while exchanging information, and say nothing to them or the police about how you may have contributed to the accident.
Don’t Accept a Bad Settlement Agreement
Once you have worked with the insurance company’s claims adjuster, they will make you a settlement offer that requires you to sign away your rights to any future litigation. Not only is it a bad idea to waive your future rights, but it’s also a bad offer. Insurance companies try to pay as little as possible for claims, and their first offer is simply a starting point for a negotiation.
Don’t Be Your Own Attorney
Insurance companies will push back as hard as possible on making concessions to people, and are experienced in Atlanta car accident law in a way that is very advantageous to their business model. Don’t try to represent yourself – contact our team, and get professional help from a car accident attorney who will fight on your behalf. You need to focus on recovering from your injuries, and the additional stress won’t help.