Car accidents are terrible experiences for anyone involved. Whether you are the driver of the vehicle involved in a collision, a passenger, or a pedestrian, car accidents can affect anyone. Unfortunately, making poor decisions after an accident can make a terrible experience much worse than it has to be. By avoiding the following “10 Things to Not Do After a Car Accident,” you will be protecting your claims following a car accident.
1. Leave the Scene of an Accident
Under California Vehicle Code Section 20002(a), a driver “…of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists.” Similarly, in Nevada, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident, regardless of whether you were at fault or not in the accident. Simply said, if you are involved in an accident, stop your vehicle. If the circumstances allow you to do so, pull your vehicle to the side of the road.
2. Admit Fault
After an accident, do not feel compelled to admit fault because you believe that you did something to contribute or cause the crash. A thorough investigation may not only reveal the liability of the other driver(s) involved, but there may be a road defect or vehicular defect that contributed to the collision. A rushed admission of fault can make it more difficult to obtain financial compensation that you would otherwise be entitled to.
3. Not Call 911
You should always call 911 after being involved in an accident. The police can help establish which drivers were at fault, investigate road conditions, speak to witnesses, and preserve evidence that may not be available later. Whether you are involved in a car accident in California or in Nevada, the responding police officers will likely draft a report and detail how the accident occurred. The police report can be a crucial component to any personal injury case.
4. Forget to Exchange Insurance Information
Under California Vehicle Code Section 16025, drivers must share and exchange insurance information after a car accident. Similarly, in Nevada, you are required to exchange insurance information.
5. Agree to a Quick Settlement
Never resolve your claims prior to speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer. While a quick settlement may seem like a “quick fix” and can be tempting, you cannot reopen your case once you accept a settlement offer. Indeed, you may not know the full extent of your damages until some time after your accident.
Likewise, you should always make sure to speak to a personal injury attorney before you sign or agree to anything an insurance company is offering. Following an accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
6. Underestimate Your Injuries
Sometimes, you may feel minimal pain after a car accident. As time passes, you may feel the full extent of your injuries. Maybe it was the adrenaline that wore off or maybe you were telling yourself that your pain would go away – either way – it is always important to seek immediate medical attention after an accident. Common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back injuries
- Pain and distress
- Leg and foot injuries
- Wrist and hand injuries
- Neck injuries
- Post-traumatic stress
7. Speak To An Insurance Company Representative
Whether it is another party’s insurance carrier or your own, an insurance company representative will often reach out to a car accident victim as soon as they can. Without an experienced personal injury lawyer to advise you post-accident, an insurance company representative will try to resolve your claim as soon as possible and for as little as possible.
It is important to note that one’s own insurance company is not a friend post-accident. It is always best to have experienced lawyers like Chichyan Law APC to help you navigate how to communicate with an insurance company post-accident, even your own.
8. Post About Your Accident On Social Media
Any information you share on social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) can be used against you. Insurance company representatives use social media to try to find information that will contradict or disprove your claims. Simply said, do not post details about your accident or your life post-accident on social media.
9. Wait Too Long To Act
The statute of limitations to bring personal injury claims for car accident victims in California and Nevada stands at two years. This means that there is a two year time limit from the date of loss to bring claims for your bodily injuries.
10. Not Hire An Attorney
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you each and every step of the way after a car accident. While some people try to handle their claims on their own, insurance companies take advantage of unrepresented claimants. The sooner you hire a personal injury attorney, the better protected you will be moving forward.
Whether you were in a car accident in California or in Nevada, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can understand your injuries and fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Contact our office at 818-488-9448 to schedule a free consultation today.