It’s tough to keep a cool head after an auto accident. Even if you and your passengers come out seemingly unhurt, you may still feel bewildered, frightened, or angry. Maintaining presence of mind after an accident is important, however, since what you say and do after a wreck can greatly affect your settlement after the car accident.
As any car accident lawyer will tell you, there are certain things you definitely don’t want to do after an auto accident, as these actions can reduce your likelihood of obtaining a settlement or judgment against the other driver’s insurer. If you’re involved in a car crash, be sure not to make these common errors:
- Do not ever, ever admit guilt – When discussing the accident with the other victim or police, do not say that the accident was your fault. You likely don’t even want to say you’re sorry. An admission of fault will weaken any suit you may later file against the other driver and strengthen any potential suit the other driver may file against you.
- Don’t skip the doctor’s appointment – Even if you don’t feel that you’ve been injured in the wreck, it’s still a good idea to see a medical professional. Some injuries are not apparent immediately after an accident and can take several days to manifest themselves. Seeing a professional can help you head off major medical problems and will provide documentation of your injuries should as your attorney negotiates your settlement.
- Don’t hesitate to call the police – Do not fall for the old “Let’s keep this between ourselves so our insurance rates won’t go up” ploy. Call the police after an accident and allow them to investigate and complete an accident report. It could come in handy during the negotiation process or later in court.
- Don’t wait too late to pursue a claim – There is a narrow window of opportunity to pursue a claim against the other driver. The Statute of Limitation for any personal injury case in Colorado, including car accidents, is 3 years and the clock starts the day of the accident. So it’s important to make quick contact with an attorney experienced in auto accident cases ASAP after a wreck.
- Don’t forget to take pictures – Pictures of the accident scene can provide your auto accident attorney with critical evidence to use in pursuing your case. If you are able, get pictures of your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle, focusing on the damage to the vehicles. Also get pictures of the scene around the accident.
Auto insurance companies and their attorneys aren’t going to just roll over and write you a check. They’re going to fight your claim if they have a chance of denying it. That’s why you need to keep your head immediately after an accident and speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
The Bendinelli Law Firm provides experienced legal representation for all types of accident victims, including auto accident victims. A Denver area law firm, the Bendinelli Law Firm knows how to fight the insurance companies to win the best settlement or judgment their clients deserve. Contact the firm today for guidance through the car accident litigation process from a staff of skilled attorneys and legal professionals.