Being involved in a car accident is frightening. In the moments after the crash, you likely feel a little dazed and fearful. You hope you haven’t suffered an injury. If you have, you are thankful to be alive. A wave of emotions comes over you once you realize how serious your accident was. Because you feel overwhelmed, you might make a mistake in the coming minutes and days that could hurt your chances when you make a property damage and injury claim.
If you want to maximize your insurance and injury claim, you need to avoid making these five mistakes after a car accident:
- Not reporting the accident to police and making a police report. You always want to have documentation of what happened when your accident occurred. You may think you didn’t suffer an injury, but then a couple days later, you have debilitating back or neck pain. You need a police report to make an insurance and personal injury claim.
- Admitting fault for the accident. Even though Michigan is a no-fault insurance state (meaning your insurance likely will cover any damage and injury costs), you shouldn’t admit fault for the accident. You shouldn’t even say comments like “I didn’t see them. I tried to slow down.” First, you may not be at fault for the accident. Second, you can hamper your ability to getting maximum insurance benefits if you admit fault for the accident.
- Not seeking medical attention for your injuries right away. You always should seek medical attention after an accident and if you notice injury symptoms the next day or a week later. You need documentation of what your injuries are and how serious they are to get proper compensation in your injury claim.
- Not making your own documentation of the accident. If you can, you should write down everything you remember about the accident right after it happened. You also should take photos of the accident scene with your cell phone. Your documentation could help show what really happened in the accident.
- Accepting a quick settlement for your injuries without consulting an attorney. Often, insurance companies offer small settlements just to settle your injury claim quickly. However, you may not receive enough money to cover your full medical bills and recovery costs with a quick settlement. You should consult a personal injury attorney before you accept an injury settlement.
By avoiding these mistakes after a car accident, you protect your best interests. You help ensure you will get the compensation you need for your injuries and to replace your vehicle. You also can avoid extra hassles as you recover from your accident and move forward with your life.