Many people make the mistake of not contacting the police because the damage seems minor or they want to handle it privately. Having a police report creates an official record of the accident that helps support your case later on. The report will include important details like the time, location, road conditions, who was determined to be at fault, and witness statements. This objective information helps dispute any false claims made by the other driver and their insurance company. You need to contact your insurance provider right away to file a claim. Your policy likely requires you to notify them promptly after an accident. Delaying this step may complicate the claims process and allow the insurance company to deny certain benefits. Reporting the incident quickly also gets your insurer involved, so they start investigating the accident, contacting the other party’s insurer, and assessing damages on your behalf.
Seek prompt medical attention
Even if your injuries seem minor at first, it’s important to get examined by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Sometimes adrenaline masks serious problems like head trauma, fractures, or internal injuries. Getting prompt medical care creates a record of your injuries that your San Francisco Car Accident Lawyer uses to pursue fair compensation for your losses. Gaps in treatment or delays in seeking care negatively impact your claim. The other side may argue your injuries aren’t related to the crash or that you didn’t take the proper steps to mitigate your damages.
Avoid admitting fault
A major mistake many people make after an accident is admitting fault or accepting blame too soon. You may feel inclined to do this to be courteous or sympathetic. It’s important to avoid acknowledging guilt or making any statements about the cause of the accident. Anything you say is used against you later during claims negotiations and possible lawsuits. Simply exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved and let your insurer handle the initial investigation. If another driver pressures you to accept fault at the scene, politely decline to make any definitive statements about who caused the crash until you consult with your insurance company.
Avoid posting on social media
It’s easy to post on social media after an accident to share your frustration or vent. It is generally not a smart legal strategy. Anything you share online potentially be used as evidence by insurance companies or opposing counsel. Posting photos of the crash scene or discussing the accident itself may appear as if you are misrepresenting what filing for charges after the car accident happens entails. Even emotional posts expressing anger or distress about your injuries could undermine the seriousness of your claim. For these reasons, maintain your privacy and avoid posting anything related to the accident until your case is over. The initial offer is generally low and may not sufficiently cover your injuries, vehicle damage, lost wages, and other expenses. Retaining legal counsel gives you experienced representation to negotiate for a full and fair settlement. An attorney can also determine if you’re entitled to additional compensation the insurer fails to mention, such as underinsured or uninsured motorist benefits.