A simple misstep after a car accident in California can jeopardize an insurance claim or personal injury case and cost you thousands of dollars. It is, therefore, crucial that you understand what NOT to do after a car accident. Before we discuss the 5 most common mistakes people make after a car accident, let’s briefly touch on the rights you have after being involved in a car accident.
- Right to remain silent: You are not required to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, it is usually not in your best interest to give a statement to the other insurance company. The insurance adjuster will take any statement you make out of context and use it to deny or low-ball your claim.
- You are entitled to free medical treatment: If you are injured in a car accident, you are entitled to receive reasonable and necessary medical treatment. You should not have to pay for this treatment out of your own pocket.
- You are entitled to compensation for your property damage: If the other driver is at fault, his or her insurance company should pay to have your vehicle repaired or replaced.
- You may be entitled to pain and suffering damages: In some cases, you may be able to recover damages for your pain and suffering. This is usually only the case if you have suffered a serious injury.
Now that we’ve touched on your rights after a car accident, let’s discuss the 5 most common mistakes people make after a car accident.
Not Calling the Police
California law requires that you call the police if you are involved in a car accident that resulted in injuries, death, or property damage. Failing to do so can result in a misdemeanor charge. In addition, if you don’t have a police report, it will be more difficult to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
Not Getting Medical Treatment
If you are injured in a car accident, it is important to get medical treatment right away. Many people make the mistake of not getting medical treatment because they don’t think their injuries are serious. However, some injuries may not exhibit symptoms until days or even weeks after the accident. If you wait too long to get medical treatment, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are not related to the car accident.
Not Gathering Evidence
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to gather evidence. This evidence can be used to support your claim. Be sure to take pictures of the accident scene and get the contact information for any witnesses.
Not Speaking to an Attorney
Parties involved in a car accident should avoid speaking to an insurance adjuster without first consulting with an attorney. The insurance adjuster may try to get you to make a statement that could be used to deny or lowball your claim.
Not Filing a Claim in a Timely Manner
California’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. Failure to file a claim within this time frame will result in you being barred from recovering any compensation.
A California Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Avoid Common Mistakes after a Car Accident
With so much at stake after a car accident, it is important to have an experienced California personal injury attorney on your side. An experienced attorney will help you to avoid making any of the mistakes discussed above and will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Here at Pathway Law Firm, our experienced car accident attorneys have a proven track record of success. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and we are ready to put our experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.