Just as there are steps that you should take after getting into a car accident – such as calling the police and going to the hospital – there are also things that you should not do. Many mistakes are important to avoid in the aftermath of a car accident. A car insurance company will be on the lookout for any reason to deny your claim or reduce your payout. Learn what not to do after a car accident so that you can protect your rights and future.
Flee the Scene
Never flee the scene of an automobile accident. Leaving the scene of any type of car accident– big or small – without stopping is a crime in Nebraska. It is legally required of all drivers to pull over at the scene or as close to the scene of an accident as possible, as well as to render aid and exchange information with the other driver.
Fail to Involve the Police
You must report any car accident that involves property damage of at least $1,500, bodily injuries or a fatal injury to the police in Nebraska. Notifying the police is important for insurance purposes, even if the crash was minor, as you can use your accident report during the claims process. It is especially important to involve the police if you believe the other driver has committed a crime, such as drunk driving.
Never confess to having caused a car accident. Even if you believe you are at fault, something else may have caused or contributed to the accident that you are unaware of, such as a defective auto part. Admitting fault before an investigation has been completed can unfairly place 100 percent of the blame on you.
Offer to Settle the Matter Directly With the Other Driver
Do not let the other driver convince you to resolve the matter without involving insurance companies. This is risky, as he or she might give you false information and fail to pay you. You should always contact your own car insurance company after a car accident to report the crash.
Forget to Take Pictures
Do your best to collect evidence and information before you leave the scene of an accident. Forgetting to take photographs or gather other information, such as the names and phone numbers of eyewitnesses, can weaken your case, as these are important types of evidence.
Delay Medical Care
Never delay the trip to the hospital after a car accident. You should see a doctor immediately after a crash – not only for your physical health but also to show a car insurance company that you are receiving medical care to mitigate your losses. Be careful not to underestimate how badly you’re hurt or assume that you aren’t injured. Your adrenaline could be masking the symptoms of a serious car accident injury.
Post About the Accident on Social Media
You should never post about a car accident on social media. An insurance company can check your social media activity and use anything that you post against you, such as using a photograph posted of enjoying time with friends as proof that you are not experiencing pain or suffering.
Talk to an Insurance Company
Car insurance companies are not on your side after a collision. Do not agree to give an insurance provider a recorded statement, sign medical authorization release forms sent to you by an insurance company or rush into a fast insurance settlement. Be careful what you say to insurance company representatives. Keep your answers to questions short – or allow a lawyer to do the talking for you.
Handle Your Car Accident Claim Alone
During the insurance claims process, an insurance provider may try to take advantage of you. It’s important to hire an Omaha car accident attorney to protect you from insurance company tactics. Your lawyer will help you understand what to say and what not to say to an insurance claims adjuster to protect your right to recover compensation. A lawyer can also take over settlement negotiations on your behalf or go to trial for optimal case results.