There are a number of things that you need to avoid following an auto accident. The following list includes a couple of helpful hints to better aid you in handling your auto accident appropriately.
- Notify the police. I'm sure you've heard of people simply exchanging insurance information following an accident; however, this can be problematic as it leaves the interpretation of the accident open to adverse parties. More or less, not notifying the police sets the stage for a "he said/she said" scenario to occur. Notifying the police is valuable because it allows an objective party to not only make a determination as to fault, but to also document any sort of potential injuries and damage to the vehicles. Although a police officer's interpretation of an accident is not always the "be all, end all, say all", regarding the facts, it certainly helps in clarifying both parties version of events. Further, you should keep in mind that accepting unnecessary blame when interviewed by an officer after an accident will do you no justice. In other words, if it wasn't your fault or you are unsure of what happened, do not volunteer that it was or could have been.
- Refusing medical attention. People usually injure themselves in an auto accident, but have a tendency to refuse medical treatment. Generally, they think "Oh, I'm just sore. I'll feel better in a couple of days." This approach can be problematic due to the fact that the soreness may not just go away. It is crucial to document any sort of injuries from the get go to prove the relation of said injury to the auto accident. If you feel any pain following your accident, visiting the emergency room can help discover any potential injuries.
- Medical Care: In conjunction with the last part of refusing medical attention, it is important to get medical care for injuries related to an accident as soon as possible. In particular, even if you do not seek medical treatment immediately following the accident, and your symptoms persist or new symptoms arise, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. You can do this either through your local emergency room or your primary care physician. Following an accident, if you didn't sustain a major injury, you might be convinced you are just bruised up, but days or even weeks later the pain continues related problems or feel that you are restricted physically. A visit to your local family physician or emergency room can point you to the path of recovery. Additionally, the sooner you receive treatment the more clear it is that your injuries were accident related.
- Not Contacting a Personal Injury/Car Accident Attorney: People have a "do it yourself" approach, which is fine; however, doing things yourself after an auto accident involving personal injuries can do yourself an injustice. Personal injury/car accident attorneys handle these sorts of claims and deal with insurance companies all day, every day. A car accident attorney can best advise you on how to properly pursue your claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not on the injured individual's side. They are a business and as a result are money motivated and make a healthy living from short changing injured individuals. I hear stories all the time about people receiving an offer from an insurance company and immediately accepting it because they believe that's all the insurance company can do for them. Don't let yourself become prey to an insurance company after having a car accident.
- Rushing Through and Settling Your Claim Too Quickly: After an auto accident individuals are often times in a hurry to settle their claim. Injured individuals should be cautious in doing this. The most important step in pursuing a personal injury claim is following the doctor's orders and getting the necessary treatment prior to even talking to the insurance company. In other words, you need to run through your course of treatment and get to the point where a doctor tells you there is not much more he can do for you before even considering settling your claim. This is advisable because injuries often pop up week's even months later or injuries are not properly diagnosed or treated until weeks or months later. Receiving the proper treatment, discovering what your limitations will be in the future, and being advised as to potential future medical treatment among other things are all important ingredients in the formula to properly pursuing a personal injury claim.