I've been helping people hurt in auto collisions around the Fort Worth area since 1991. In that time, I've learnt a lot about the mistakes people might make immediately following a traffic accident. It's understandable because if you've just been through a traumatic experience, you're probably not thinking as clearly as you might otherwise.
If you are ever involved in a car wreck, here are some important points to remember:
DON'T Admit Fault
Sometimes people do this without even thinking. If you take responsibility at the scene of the crash, then how do you expect to be able to claim that it was the other driver's fault later? Regardless of whether you are pursuing a claim for personal injuries or property damages - if you are the person who was at fault it just cannot be done. So don't admit fault. That will be determined later by your lawyer's investigator and the insurance adjustor.
DO Collect The Correct Information
It might sound obvious, but I've seen it happen more than once. You should always make sure that you collect the correct information from the other motorist(s) involved in the accident. At the very least you should obtain their name, contact details, car make and model, insurance provider and policy number. I've had clients in the past that didn't even get the name of the person who hit them. Sorry - but if you want to bring a claim against someone, you need to know who they are!
DO Call The Police
Even if you are just in a minor fender bender, a police accident report is one of the best pieces of evidence you can have. It will collect together all of the information from all parties involved in the accident, statements from witnesses and contain the police officer's decision as to who was at fault. It's invaluable when bringing a claim. But if you don't call the police, guess what? There won't be a police report.
DO Seek Medical Attention
If you've been in a collision, it's highly advised that you consult a doctor soon after the wreck. Maybe you actually are fine, but many time injuries aren't obvious until afterwards. Don't try to shrug it off in the hope that it'll get better. My experience tells me that's usually not the case. It's always better to be safe, rather than sorry. Go to the doctor and get yourself checked out. If you're fine, great. But if you're not - and you delay visiting the hospital - then that can really hurt your personal injury case later on.
To learn more DOs and DON'Ts, read my FREE books 15 Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Texas Accident Case and Texas Property Damage Guide.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in an accident which was not your fault, call the Anderson Law Firm for a free consultation at 800-354-MARK (6275) or locally at 817-294-1900 or 214-327-8000.
Other articles you might be interested in:
Is There A Deadline For Submitting A Personal Injury Claim?
Beware Of The Insurance Adjuster
If You're Hurt... Go To The Doctor!
The Amount Of Your Medical Bills Matters
Uninsured Motorist Claims