What should you do—or not do—when you are involved in an auto accident? Many of us never think about it ahead of time, then often get caught without guidance in the middle of an accident. However, since most drivers experience at least one accident in their lives, knowing what not to do can keep you prepared ahead of time.
Watch as Eric Blank, Personal Injury Attorney and Founder of Eric Blank Injury Attorneys, a top-rated Las Vegas law firm, shares five things to do after an accident.
Even if you drive safely and defensively, you may not be able to prevent an accident. Our auto accident attorneys at Eric Blank Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas put our collective wisdom together to share a list of several mistakes you can avoid immediately after an accident.
Mistake 1: Apologizing or Admitting Fault
It is common for those involved in a car accident to want to apologize to the other driver. For many, this is almost automatic, and it comes from being polite and courteous. No matter how well-meaning the apology is, the other driver can use the fact that you said “I’m so sorry” to argue that you’ve admitted guilt or responsibility for the crash.
Even a driver who was not at fault could suffer consequences down the line if an officer hears they’ve apologized and notes it in the incident report.
Mistake 2: Not Seeking Medical Attention
Immediately after a car accident, adrenaline will be high, and you might be suffering from shock. It’s common in these circumstances to feel like you’re okay and do not need to seek medical attention. Not only is this bad for your health, but it could be bad for your legal claim as well.
If the other driver, and thus the other insurance company, have reason to believe that you were not injured, they can use this against you in your case. Even if you’re feeling fine immediately after the accident, you should get checked out and document any medical visits.
Mistake 3: Not Calling the Police
Drivers avoid involving the police for a variety of reasons. They might feel that the damage wasn’t significant, they might feel like calling the police over a minor crash would be a waste of their time, or they might even be afraid of getting the other driver in trouble.
Whatever the reason, not calling the police after a car accident is a huge mistake. Law enforcement will investigate the scene and interview drivers and witnesses to establish facts and faults. Insurance companies often rely on police reports to determine the compensation you’ll receive, so they must have a report to reference.
Mistake 4: Not Getting the Other Driver’s Information
Getting the other driver’s information is a good idea, even in a minor accident. Your vehicle might look fine, and you may feel okay right now, but whiplash can take hours or even days to take effect. You should ask the other driver for the following information:
- The driver’s name
- The driver’s phone number and address
- Both their license plate number and their license number
- Their insurance information
- Their car’s make, model, and year
You will want to take photos of their information with your mobile phone camera. You’ll need all this information when working with a car accident lawyer and filing a claim with the insurance company later.
Mistake 5: Not Documenting Evidence
You can file a claim without pictures and other documented evidence, but you’ll be doing your claim a disservice if you do. You’ll want to get photos of everything pertinent to the crash. Get detailed shots of both cars, property damage, the other driver, traffic signs, and tire marks on the road.
All these things will help bolster your case, and you can use them when you’re filing a claim. For instance, if you file a claim for a broken windshield, a photo of the damage will establish proof and increase your chances of having the damages covered by insurance.
Mistake 6: Not Calling the Insurance Company Right Away
Understandably, you’ll feel overwhelmed after an accident. It can be difficult to remember all the steps you need to take after being in a motor vehicle accident. Regardless, most insurance companies require you to contact them as soon as possible after a crash.
If you wait too long before contacting the insurance company, you could find that your medical costs or car repairs are not covered. However, before you get in touch with any insurance company, you should be sure to hire a car accident lawyer. Your attorney can keep you from saying anything to the insurance company that might damage your case.
Mistake 7: Not Hiring an Attorney
Not hiring an attorney is one of the biggest mistakes Nevada drivers could make after a car accident. A car accident attorney will be able to review your case and offer a free strategy session. Even if the insurance company denies your initial claim, the right attorney could still pursue justice for you through the courts.
You do not want to wait, either. Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations regarding personal injury lawsuits.
Call Us at Eric Blank Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada: It’s BETTER with BLANK
Get in touch with our dedicated firm of personal injury lawyers right here in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our team can support you whether you’re looking to recover damages for car repairs, medical bills, or even more. You will not pay a penny unless we win your case and you receive compensation.
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