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With emotions heightened right after being in a collision, it’s easy for our emotions to take over and impact our immediate decisions. Even as a witness, it’s important to take a breath and consider your next actions. With emotions heightened and shock playing a major role in the aftermath of an incident, it can be easy to make mistakes after a stressful collision.
Reacting Too Quickly Could Cause More Damage
In the heat of the moment, whether it’s your fault or not, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been treated unfairly and act based on your emotions and adrenaline. For example, in a car accident, it’s common to feel shocked and panicked right away, making the situation even more stressful. That’s why it’s important to take a moment to calm down by regulating your breathing. This will help you handle the situation calmly.
If you immediately apologize to the other person without taking a moment to understand what happened, you might unintentionally admit fault, even if it wasn’t your fault. The other driver could be responsible for the accident and now they might think you don’t realize it, making them seem innocent.
Declining Medical Assistance
You don’t need to be in a severe car crash to get medical help. In fact, it’s recommended that after any accident that has caused harm to your body, especially your head or spine, you should get checked by paramedics and healthcare professionals right at the scene. They can figure out if you have any injuries, even if they don’t seem life-threatening.
If you refuse medical help right away, you might have an internal injury like internal bleeding that needs quick treatment, and this can be very serious. There are also less severe but still important injuries like whiplash or head injuries that might not be obvious at first but can cause problems later on.
Failing to Gather Evidence
The number one priority is safety and getting you and any passengers medical assistance if needed. The second priority should be ensuring you have the evidence to back up the situation.
Take photos of both vehicles and any injuries that have occurred; this needs to be given to your insurance company if you make a claim.
Write down the contact information of everyone at the scene, including any bystanders who may have witnessed the incident, and be able to give comments on the accident.
Not Calling Law Enforcement
In some states, it is a legal requirement to contact the police after a road traffic accident. A police officer at the scene can collect valuable evidence, which could help aid your case and get the process done in a smooth and efficient fashion.
If you don’t call the police, the other driver who might be responsible for the accident could escape without facing the consequences, and they might repeat the same behavior, putting others in danger. If the matter ends up in court, the jury might also wonder why the police weren’t called, which can raise suspicions.
Not Filing A Case Soon Enough
In certain states, there’s a specific deadline for filing a claim after an accident. Be cautious of insurance companies that might know about this and attempt to delay the process, making you miss the deadline and lose your opportunity to move forward.
Don’t Always Take the Insurance Company’s Word For It
Insurance companies often reject valid claims because the longer they delay payment, the more money they save. It’s recommended to consult with a personal injury lawyer to assess your claim. They can determine if you’re being treated fairly and may advise you to stand firm for a larger settlement if they believe you deserve it.
Additionally, insurance companies may claim that their initial settlement offer is the best you can get, but that’s usually not the case. That’s why it’s important to pursue your case fully and take the time to convince them that you should receive more than their initial offer.
Information and stats provided by High Rise Legal Funding, a pre-settlement legal funding company, have revealed the biggest mistakes many victims in road traffic accidents have made and how to avoid them should you become a victim yourself.
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