A car accident can quickly upend your life and finances, and it’s easy to make a simple mistake in the aftermath that can cost you your ability to obtain the full compensation to which you’re entitled. If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to know what mistakes to avoid so that you don’t miss out on money that should be yours.
Common Mistakes After a Car Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, avoid making the following mistakes to give yourself the strongest hand in arguing for your car accident compensation.
You Didn’t Call the Police
If everyone seems to be fine after your accident, it could be tempting to leave the police out of it. You may not even be trying to hide anything with this decision, as it could seem more convenient for both parties at that moment. However, this decision can severely negatively impact your ability to obtain compensation later on. By calling the police, even for minor accidents, you can establish a record of the incident and both sides of the story, which can protect your claim later on.
You Drove Away
If everyone is okay after an accident, you might think it’s okay to simply exchange numbers and leave. Unfortunately, this would count as a hit and run were you to drive off from the scene of an accident before authorities arrived. Even leaving the scene on foot outside of an extremely narrow set of circumstances could land you in hot water with the police. After an accident, stay near your vehicle, unless you are in immediate danger by doing so, and wait for the authorities to arrive before leaving.
You Don’t Gather Evidence
After a car crash, there’s always an investigation, but you shouldn’t leave it up to others to collect evidence on your behalf. While you don’t want to tamper with the accident scene, gathering evidence such as:
- Witness statement
- Video recordings
can supplement the police report and support your side of the story. Without this evidence, you could be at a major disadvantage when it comes time to argue your degree of responsibility and how much compensation you should receive.
You Don’t Get Medical Attention
Even a minor accident can cause damage throughout your vehicle, from a cracked radiator to damage to onboard computers and electronics. What do you think that can do to your body? Always seek medical attention after an accident, even if you feel fine. Doing so can identify any injuries you may not be aware of and starts a paper trail you can use to establish that injuries you may feel later on were a result of the accident.
You Waited Too Long
After a car crash in South Carolina, you have three years to file a personal injury claim against another driver. While you may want to take a wait-and-see approach or have a busy life, waiting too long can rob you of your ability to pursue a case at all. Filing early and with abundant evidence can save you from heartbreak down the road as your case isn’t allowed to advance simply because too much time has passed.
Seek Legal Advice
After an accident, it’s important to get the help of a car accident lawyer. They can answer any questions you might have about the process of filing a personal injury claim and what it will take to get the compensation you’re owed. They can provide you with all of the assistance and information you’ll need to navigate this process to restore your finances after you’ve suffered a wreck.