While auto accidents can result from the mistakes of drivers, making certain mistakes after these accidents can end up causing more problems for victims. In fact, although minor missteps can delay payouts for claims, more significant mistakes can end up affecting the value of a case, potentially causing victims to lose out on some compensation.
To help you preserve your rights after a car accident, below, we’ll reveal some common mistakes to avoid making after a collision.
Avoid these Missteps after a Car Accident
Mistake #1 – Not calling the police ASAP after the accident
It’s important to call law enforcement officials after a traffic accident so that they can respond to the scene and initiate their own investigations/reports. Without such reports, it can be more challenging to establish fault later, locate accident witnesses, etc. So, even if another involved motorist is urging you to not call the cops, don’t listen. Protect yourself and make the call anyways.
Mistake #2 – Accepting blame for the accident
While you may be apologetic that an accident occurred, you should not say anything that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt later. In fact, simply saying “sorry for the accident” to other motorists or even police could be construed as being a partial admission of fault. So, put the sympathies and apologies aside and only exchange your driving info with others at the site.
Any admissions of fault can later be used against you to reduce the value of your claim (or possibly deny it altogether).
Mistake #3 – Not taking pictures of the major damage caused by the accident
If you are able to take photos of the damage caused by a wreck, do your best to take as many pictures as possible of all of the major damage to:
- Your car
- Other involved vehicles
- Surrounding features (such as trees, signage, etc.).
If there are minimal to no pictures of the collision, it can be more difficult to establish fault later.
Mistake #4 – Putting off reporting the accident to an insurer
Given that auto insurance policies tend to have specific details about how soon accidents must be reported by policyholders to insurers, it’s important to not procrastinate this task and to report the accident to an insurer ASAP after it occurs.
The longer you wait, the more problems you can run into down the line. If you are too badly injured to report the accident to your insurer, it’s likely a good time to reach out to an attorney to take care of this for you and represent you moving forward.
Mistake #5 – Accepting any settlement offer before consulting an attorney
Although you may be eager to get a payout and financially recover from an auto collision, accepting a settlement offer before speaking to a lawyer is another mistake to avoid making. This is because a lawyer can review your case and the offer, helping you understand whether the offer is sufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries, ongoing treatment needs, property damage, lost wages, etc.
If you make the mistake of accepting an offer without a lawyer’s input, you could run the risk of giving up a significant amount of compensation.
Contact an Experienced Beaverton Car Accident Lawyer at the Weimar Law Offices
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, Beaverton Car Accident Lawyer Linda Weimar is ready to aggressively advocate your rights and provide you with superior representation in your pursuit of justice and compensation.
To get professional legal advice during a free initial consult, call us at (503) 640-5000 or email us using the Contact form on this page.
From our offices in Beaverton, Attorney Linda Weimar represents people with various types of personal injury claims throughout Washington County, including in West Side and Hillsboro.