While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
Ask anyone about what you should do after getting into an auto accident and they'll give you a whole litany of things to remember. However, it's just as important to avoid engaging in actions and behaviors that could hurt your odds of getting money for your losses. Here are two things you absolutely should not do after an auto collision.
Refuse Medical Attention
In minor accidents, there's a tendency for people to downplay their injuries and refuse to get checked out by a medical professional while on the scene. If there are no cuts, broken bones, or pain, they figure they are okay or that they'll see a doctor if something changes and they start feeling bad.
There are a couple of problems with this thinking. First, just because you don't see any external injuries doesn't mean there aren't any internally. You could have bruised ribs from where the seatbelt caught you or you could have head and neck trauma from whiplash but you don't feel the pain at that moment because of the adrenaline and endorphins pumping through your body.
Second, refusing medical attention and then returning days or weeks later with an injury claim can make insurance adjusters suspicious, resulting in disputes over the severity of your condition and other unsavory problems.
Thus, you should always accept any offer of medical attention at the scene if for no other reason than to document the injuries and symptoms that are visible at that time. If there isn't any way to be seen by someone at the accident site, make an appointment to be examined by your healthcare provider at the earliest time possible.
Discuss the Details of the Accident with the Other Driver
Call it human nature, but people have this odd habit of trying to confirm their experience with others. While you may just be trying to work out how the collision occurred, you must be careful about what you say to the other driver. That person will repeat whatever you tell them to their insurance provider who will then use those words against you.
Try to say as little as possible and definitely do not admit fault under any circumstances. If you need to speak to your insurance provider, go to a private area where you won't be overheard. Additionally, absolutely do not speak to the other driver's insurance provider without first talking to an attorney as, again, whatever you say can be used to dispute or deny your claim.
Dealing with an auto accident can be complicated, and you don't want to do anything to make matters worse for yourself. Once you get yourself situated, contact an accident attorney and have them help you manage your claim so you get fair compensation for your damages and injuries.
For more information, contact a company like Neff Insurance Law, PLLC.