A car accident can be unnerving, if not devastating. Knowing what to avoid doing in the immediate aftermath of a crash can help you:
- Maintain your composure
- Protect your rights and a potential claim
- Sidestep any mistakes that could sabotage your financial recovery
- Start taking the right steps to position a future claim for success.
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How to Protect Your Rights & Claim after a Crash: What to Avoid Doing
After a car accident:
- Do NOT admit fault for the accident – You may not be aware of all of the details of the wreck, such as whether another driver was impaired or distracted, whether vehicle equipment failures may have been involved, etc. Automatically accepting blame without or before knowing these details can harpoon you with liability for the crash. So, regardless of whether you believe you may have been at fault, do not admit it.
- Do NOT apologize or appear to be at fault – Apologies can be construed as admissions of guilt. While compassion may compel you to want to apologize and console others involved in the car accident, these actions can come back to bite you when it’s time to determine who’s responsible for the wreck. Apologizing and consoling others can make it appear like you feel as though you were to blame for the accident. That can be included in police reports and later used against you by an insurer to reduce or deny your claim.
- Do NOT make any promises – A common promise that motorists can mistakenly make after a car crash can be, I promise I won’t file a claim because my insurance company will cover the damage. Or, I promise that we can settle this out of court. Making promises at the scene of a car accident will likely never work in your favor. It can, though, give insurers leverage to avoid paying the full amount you deserve for a claim.
- Do NOT guess at the circumstances of the accident – As you talk to police (and possibly insurance adjusters later) about the accident, focus on only explaining the facts that you are sure of. Do not make or report any assumptions. Assumptions can be used to challenge your credibility. They may even serve as leverage to try to pin at least some blame on you.
- Do NOT make any assertions about your injuries – Regardless of whether you feel fine, it’s important to remember that shock and adrenaline can prevent you from feeling the extent of physical injuries. Additionally, some injuries (like TBIs) can have latent symptoms for days (if not longer). So, don’t make any definitive statements about your physical condition (like I’m fine or I only have minor injuries). See emergency responders and/or a doctor instead. Let them assess, diagnose and treat your injuries.
5 Things to DO after a Car Accident
Remembering to do the following (while avoiding the above) after a car accident can help you protect your rights and a potential claim:
- DO remain calm, polite and reserved.
- DO call police and wait on the scene.
- DO take as many pictures as possible of the wreckage (if you are not too badly injured).
- DO seek medical attention for proper diagnosis, treatment and documentation of your injuries
- DO contact a lawyer for insight and guidance regarding your potential claim.
Find Out More about Your Recovery Options: Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston car accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to explain your rights and recovery options. Set up a free consultation with us and take the first step on the path to financial recovery.
Call (877) 892-2797 or email us. We provide virtual consultations and can travel to meet you if you are unable to visit our office.
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