During my time as a car wreck attorney in Dallas-Fort Worth, I’ve seen people do things that ruined what might have otherwise been a good case. I hope you learn what NOT to do after an auto accident by reading about these embarrassing mistakes!
I once met a lady who came to me after another driver rear-ended her. She didn’t call the police after the wreck because she said she felt embarrassed and “didn’t want to bother them!”
Life Lesson: Don’t hesitate to call the police after an accident. If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, your first priority is, of course, getting yourself out of harm’s way. Your second priority? Calling 911. The police are there to help. They’ll make sure everyone’s okay and then conduct a quick investigation to determine who’s at fault. This accident report is essential to your case.
Not too long ago, a man came to my office with what was clearly a broken ankle. He’d been hit by a car as he was walking across a crosswalk. He showed his injury to me, which was swollen and stiff, as if proud that he was “toughing it out.”
Life Lesson: There’s no such thing as “toughing it out.” If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, don’t put off your pain and hope it gets better. It’s absolutely crucial that you seek medical attention immediately. Not only are you putting yourself at risk by delaying treatment, but you could also be hurting your personal injury claim. As a general rule, I don’t take a case if there’s an unreasonable time delay in seeking treatment. The chances of convincing a jury that you are hurt are drastically diminished each day or week that you delay treatment.
I once worked with a young lady who had been badly injured in an accident, but was recovering and undergoing physical therapy. She later admitted to me that she had been skipping her physical therapy appointments. “They’re hard!” she said.
Life Lesson: Be a cooperative patient. You’re expected to do everything your doctor asks you to do. When a medical provider writes down a “no show” in your record, it looks very bad later on when reviewed by someone else (namely the insurance adjuster or the jury). Not to mention, skipping appointments is setting back your recovery!
I hope everyone can learn from other people’s mistakes. If you’re ever involved in a car crash, call the police right away and get the medical treatment you need – you’ll be well on the path to recovery if you do.