Accidents are so sudden that they leave those involved disoriented and scared. Because of these feelings, they make mistakes that would later impact their compensation claim. Errors can prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve, as the insurance company will use it against you.
For this reason, our Birmingham car accident lawyers have put together a list of mistakes to avoid after a car accident. If you need legal advice and representation for your car accident claim, our lawyers have the required experience and expertise.
Six Common Mistakes To Avoid After a Car Accident
Most people know the steps to take immediately after a traffic collision, but not everyone knows the mistakes to avoid. Below we list the steps you shouldn't take after an accident.
Not Reporting the Accident
There are two parts to reporting an accident in Alabama. The first is calling the police to the accident scene immediately after the occurrence. The second is filing a police report after leaving the scene but within 30 days from when the crash happened.
Under Alabama law, those involved in an accident with bodily injury or property damage exceeding $250 must fill form SR-13 to report the crash. It is more beneficial for you to report an accident than failing to do so. The police can easily track down witnesses, investigate the accident, and help identify the fault party. Failing to file an accident report is an offense punishable with a fine or jail time.
Admitting or Implying Guilt
When the police arrest a person on a criminal charge, they inform them that what they say can be used against them in court. The same is true in personal injury cases. For example, the things you say after an accident can affect your compensation claim. This is because the insurance company might imply guilt from your statement and deny your claim.
Thus, you should never admit guilt or infer it in any way. Even if you know you're at fault for the accident or contributed somehow, don't apologize. By apologizing, you agree that you are to blame or share part of the fault. Instead, call your Birmingham auto accident attorney and let them do the talking on your behalf.
Failing To Gather Evidence
In civil litigations, which personal injury claims or lawsuits fall under, you must prove what you assert. This rule makes it imperative for you to gather evidence immediately after the accident. The more you delay, the likelihood that the proof you need would disappear.
However, if you're severely injured and can't gather the evidence yourself, you have two options. The first is waiting to recover and asking the police for a copy of the police report. The second is securing the services of a Birmingham car accident lawyer. The lawyer will launch an investigation to get the required evidence.
Failing To Complete Treatment
You should not skip treatment or fail to complete it for any reason. You must know the progress of your recovery to get the exact amount to ask for as medical bills. Also, by completing your treatment, you'll discover if you have reached maximum medical improvement or need future medical treatment. Furthermore, it helps you have concise documentation of your injuries, something you need to get a fair settlement.
Trusting the Insurance Company
One mistake you should not make after a car accident is trusting an insurance company. Whether it's your insurance provider or that of the fault party, take their words at face value. Keep in mind that they make a dollar for every dollar they refuse to pay you. So even when they act like they're on your side, they're always after their interest. Always have your personal injury lawyer speak with the insurance adjuster.
Accepting the First Settlement
It's normal for bills to pile up when receiving treatment following a car accident. Plus, it doesn't help that you're out of work. But these reasons should not make you accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company. The first offer means the floor is open for negotiations, so take your time.
If you have an attorney, they will handle the negotiations and get you the maximum compensation. They will also ensure you don't make the mistake of filing a lawsuit out of time, should they fail to agree with the insurer.
Let Mike Bell Injury Law Firm Help You Avoid Mistakes!
As one of the leading car accident lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama, we know what you ought to do and not do after an accident. We will bring our extensive years of experience to bear on your case and get maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free case review.