Car crashes are scary, and they throw you from your normal day-to-day into chaos. When you’re in a car accident your adrenaline spikes and you react in ways you wouldn’t normally. That’s natural – especially if you are injured or if you have other people in the vehicle with you, but it can also cause you to make mistakes. Here are the top 10 mistakes we see people make after a car accident:
1 They Don’t Take Pictures at the Scene
When you’re in a car crash it’s often difficult to think straight, and sometimes you simply aren’t able to stop to take pictures. However, if the car accident is relatively minor you’ll need to be the person to take pictures to send to your insurance company. You may find the other person in the accident is extremely flustered, angry, or even being very friendly to distract you, but don’t let them talk you out of properly documenting the car accident. Make sure you take pictures of their car, as well as yours, and get as much documentation as you can. If you have visible injuries, take pictures of those too when you have a moment to yourself.
2 They Don’t Call the Police
The police will come and document the car accident and will be able to back up everything you say to your insurance company. Again, don’t let the other person involved in the car crash sweet-talk you into not calling them – anything they say at the scene does not mean they’ll say it to their insurance company, and they may decide to go back on anything they tell you.
3 They Don’t Go to the Hospital to Get Checked Out
It’s very easy to feel just a little sore after a car crash and say to yourself “oh well, it will pass in a few days” and choose to go home instead of going to the hospital or doctor to get checked over. It’s vital you don’t do this after a car accident. While you may think you’re saving yourself time and money, when all you really want to do is go home, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. Insurance companies often use any delay in treatment as proof that you are lying about your claim. More importantly, you need the input of a medical professional to ensure you really aren’t injured. These minor aches and pains may develop into a problem if you leave them alone.
4 They Receive Treatment From a Doctor Who Has No Experience of Car Accident Injuries
Often, when victims of minor accidents go to see their primary care physician they are told that the practice doesn’t handle car accident cases and get turned away. Why does this happen? Because every car accident is different, often these injuries are better treated at a hospital where there is more diagnostic equipment available and dealing with a car insurance company can be a complete nightmare for a doctor’s office, and they may have been burned one to many times.
5 Not Taking Advantage of Their Car Insurance
Most of us spent at least half an hour every year agonizing over what car insurance policy to buy, and many of them include some level of personal injury cover that we forget to investigate and utilize when we actually need it.
6 They Don’t Review the Police Report
If the police had to attend the scene, many people don’t take the time to look at the police report to see if there are any errors. Though, of course, the police do their best to properly document the accident, there can be mistakes that will hurt your claim. They are only human, so it’s best to check the report over and see if there is anything you don’t believe is true.
7 They Lose the Pictures
If you take images of the car accident make sure you store them somewhere on the cloud so you don’t lose them. It may be months before you need them and the last thing you want is to not have them later when you need them.
8 They Fail to Realize How Hard Insurance Companies Fight Against Claims
So, this may not be a big myth, but it’s important to realize that even your own insurance company doesn’t want to pay out, and they’ll look for any way to devalue your claim to save themselves money or not pay out at all. This is why you need to be prepared to act quickly after your car crash. If they give signs of resisting, get an attorney involved.
9 They Sign a Release or Verbally Admit Fault
Both of these are big no-nos. Don’t sign a release unless you’ve spoken to an attorney, and, even if the accident is your fault, do your best not to verbally admit this at the scene. If you do, you may hurt yourself further down the line with your own insurance company, who want as much wiggle room to negotiate with the other accident victim’s insurance company as possible.
10 They Don’t Have Adequate Auto Insurance in the First Place
This is one you can fix now – hopefully long before you have to find this out the hard way. Make a point of checking exactly what your car insurance policy covers you for and what they don’t and consider getting collision coverage at an amount that will cover your vehicle if it is totaled (which is more common than you might think). Having extra car insurance coverage may seem like an unnecessary expense, but many of these things will save you if the worst should happen, and never go without uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance (also known as UM).
If you are unfortunate enough to get into an accident, make sure to do as much as you can to document the car crash, and then get yourself checked out by a medical professional, ideally at the hospital is you are severely hurt. If you are injured in a car accident, don’t forget to take care of yourself over the long-term by booking an appointment with a car accident chiropractor who can check your back alignment and put anything wrong right.