Getting hit by another driver can be as frustrating as it may be damaging. What you do in the immediate aftermath at the scene of the accident, however, can help you start to pick the pieces – or it could cause you to subvert a future auto accident claim.
To help you avoid doing anything that could cost you compensation later, below, we will point out some common missteps to avoid following an auto crash.
Dodge these Missteps following a Car Accident
Not calling the cops – Not reporting the wreck to police may save you a little bit of time now, but it can cost you significantly later. This is because police can gather important evidence and document crucial details regarding the collision in a police report. This may also be due to the fact that some auto insurance policies may require motorists to report more significant collisions to police (so there is a police report later). So, make sure you report a crash to the cops ASAP.
- Not taking pictures of the damage – If you are not too severely injured, don’t skip this important step as you wait for police and/or the OK to leave the scene. Use your cellphone (or another camera) to take as many photos of the damage caused by the wreck as you can. Having these pictures later can back up your version of the story. It may even provide additional important evidence regarding the weather conditions, road conditions, etc. at the time of the wreck.
- Apologizing for the accident – Do NOT do this. And do NOT admit or accept any blame for the collision, even if you think you may have been at least partially at fault. Apologies and fault admissions will likely come back to hurt a future claim, as insurers can use these statements to pin as much of the blame on you as possible and, in doing so, limit or deny you the payouts may have been entitled to otherwise (i.e., had you not accepted blame).
- Counting on insurers to be on your side – This is another big mistake that can cost you significantly, as insurance providers are typically not on claimants’ sides. Instead, insurers are on their own side, looking to protect their interests and profits by limiting their payouts to you. So, be very careful about what you say to insurers and don’t count on them to offer you the compensation you deserve. In all likelihood, they won’t.
- Not consulting with a lawyer – This may be the biggest mistake people make following auto crashes because failing to consult with an attorney can prevent people from understanding their rights and knowing how to protect their interests.
Contact a Columbia SC Car Accident Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact a Columbia SC car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for effective legal advocacy moving forward. Since 1993, our lawyers have been committed to protecting the rights of people injured in traffic accidents and helping them succeed in their financial recovery.
Call our firm at (803) 929-3600 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.
From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.