9 Things You Should Absolutely NOT Do After a Car Accident
by lauraramos | September 14th, 2018 | General
Being involved in a car crash can be one of the most excruciating and exhausting experiences you can live through. Following a serious accident, you may be dazed, confused and unsure of what to do next.
Understandably, the confusion after an automobile accident can lead you to make an unwise decision that can affect your ability to obtain compensation. At Ramos James Law, PLLC., we have seen time and time again when innocent victims make a mistake that hurts there car accident claim.
Don’t let this happen to you. With almost a decade of legal experience, we know what you need to do and what you should avoid doing to secure the justice you deserve. Let the dedicated and caring lawyer, Laura Ramos James, get you through this tough time.
Please consider the following guideline on what NOT to do after suffering a car accide
1. Never Leave the Scene of the Accident
Regardless of how minor a car accident may seem, even if there are no damages to either car, you are not legally allowed to leave without checking on the other person, asking if they are in need of aid and calling the respective authorities.
In Texas, it is a misdemeanor to not stop and render aid. You are also required to provide your contact information to the other driver in accordance to the Texas Transportation Code §550.023. If you neglect this, and the other driver happens to suffer major injuries – or even die – you could be charged with a felony.
2. Do NOT Move Your Vehicle Unless Necessary
Do not move your car from the scene of the accident until the authorities arrive. The only stipulation is if you need to get yourself out of harm’s way.
It is important to recognize that unless you are in serious risk of additional injuries, moving your car can be misinterpreted as an attempt to leave without rendering aid, and can also affect the way in which the officer perceives the accident and writes their report.
Moving your car can also damage proof of your innocence or even cause further damage to your car. Avoid doing so when possible.
3. Never Remain in a Danger Zone
In conjunction with the tip above, while you should typically not move your vehicle following an accident, you don’t want to cause further harm to yourself or other drivers by remaining in a vulnerable position.
Following an accident, check your surroundings and the damage to your car. If you appear to be an easy target for another crash, move yourself from the wreckage (or move the car) if possible. Get yourself to safety without leaving the accident scene.
4. Do NOT Fail to Call 911 or the Police
You may not believe that your injuries are too serious, but failing to seek medical attention immediately after an accident can have a negative effect on any insurance claim you may make following an accident.
Alongside failing to call 911, failing to call the police can also lessen the validity of any claim you may make. Both the police and medical responders are important parties to any future insurance claim or case you may pursue.
Additionally, it is vital that you continue to attend all medical visits related to any injuries sustained following an accident. Insurance adjusters, and any future judges or jurors, may see your lack of medical attention as a sign that you are not really injured.
5. Do NOT Lose Your Calm
What you say and how you act towards the other driver and any police officers/medical responders right after the accident can affect your ability to obtain compensation.
After the accident, it is important to remain calm and avoid placing blame on anyone. Just let the officers know the facts of what happened. Even though you are required to offer aid, do not apologize to the other driver if they are injured, especially if they are responsible for the accident. This could be used against you by their insurance company to reduce your compensation.
As nerve-wracking as a car accident can be, losing your cool won’t help at all. In fact, it could hurt your chances for a successful claim.
6. Do NOT Forget to Document the Incident and Following Process
Before the police arrive at the scene of the accident, try to clear your mind and go over what happened. What were you doing right before the accident? Where were you heading? Which lane were you on? When did the other driver come into your path?
These are the types of questions you may need to answer when speaking to an officer. Your answers and additional information will go into the accident report, which will be necessary to attain when making an insurance claim or other legal claim.
Alongside the police report, you’ll also want to get the other driver’s information including:
- Insurance information
- Contact information
- Details about the car (color, model, year, etc.)
- License plate numbers of any cars involved in the accident
- Contact information for any witnesses
If possible, you should also take pictures of the accident scene including your car’s damages, road and weather conditions, and any injuries you may have suffered.
During the claims process, make sure to take notes of any dealings with insurance companies, any information provided to you at doctor appointments, and any information that may be relevant to your case.
Failing to adequately trace the events following a car accident can affect your ability to obtain justice and the compensation you deserve.
7. Do NOT Mention Anything on Social Media
Social media can be your worst enemy following a car accident. Insurance adjusters and lawyers recognize that individuals will often air out any grievances about their accident on social media, and will use this against you, which can ultimately lead to an insurance claim or case being denied.
Even if you aren’t talking specifically about your accident, posting images of yourself at various social gatherings or participating in physical activities can be used as evidence against any injury claims.
Your best bet is to avoid using all social media until your lawyer tells you it is ok.
8. Do NOT Make a Statement to Any Insurance Company
Avoid giving any insurance adjuster a recount of the accident. Insurance companies will try to get a statement to use against you and make you liable for part of the incident – even if you were the victim.
Instead, seek guidance from an experienced car accident lawyer, like Laura Ramos, at Ramos James Law, PLLC. It is best to get legal support right away so that we can help you better document your accident and deal with any insurance companies. This way you can rest assured you will get the compensation you are entitled to.
9. Failing to Obtain Legal Aid
This act alone can have the biggest effect on your ability to obtain compensation for any injuries, as well as pain and suffering, that you may be dealing with in the aftermath of a car accident. Do NOT attempt to fight an insurance company alone and do not attempt to file a legal claim without the experienced aid of Ramos James Law.
At Ramos James Law, we see you as more than just another case. We see the suffering you and your loved ones may be going through and we have dedicated ourselves to fighting for you. Let us help you get your life back in order.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries – or even death – as the result of a serious car accident, do not hesitate to contact Ramos James Law, PLLC., today at (512) 537-3369.
We will do everything in our power to help right a wrong done against you.