Mistakes That Could Cost You After an Accident
Getting into a car accident is a frightening and stressful thing. And it can very easily result in injuries and other consequences that follow you for years. Unfortunately, innocent people can be and frequently are harmed by the negligence and recklessness of others. When that happens, you'll want to fight for your rights and seek compensation.
But if you're not careful, you could make mistakes in the aftermath of an accident that could cost you dearly. Here are a few such mistakes, and you should learn them so you can avoid them.
Not documenting the scene
When you're in an accident, you may be stressed and upset. You may just want to hurry things along and get out of there. But wait: pause, take a deep breath, and look around. If you are physically able to do so (and can do so safely), now is the time to document the scene of the accident.
Thanks to smartphones, it has never been easier to do this yourself. Just snap some photos with your phone and jot down some notes in an app. Be sure to take a photograph of the other vehicle(s) involved. You want to establish what the accident looked like, and you want photographic evidence that backs up your account.
Not documenting the scene could be a big mistake. If another party later disputes your account of the accident, you're going to wish that you had the information to prove them wrong.
Failing to call the police
In some cases, failing to call the police is more than just a mistake: it is against the law. Many Canadian provinces and US states require motorists to report accidents that resulted in injuries or property damage exceeding a set (and often low) amount.
But even if you are not legally required to call the authorities, it is still a good idea to do so. A police presence helps establish what happened and what the scene looked like. And ask for your copy of the police report.
Not tracking your expenses
In the aftermath of an accident, you could end up dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and other frustrating financial and personal difficulties. If they are related to your accident, don't make the mistake of forgetting the details. Instead, track these consequences carefully and hold onto documentation like medical bills, doctor's notes, and pay stubs. They will be very important if you end up talking to a lawyer.
Not contacting a lawyer soon enough
Speaking of talking to a lawyer, it's always a good idea to do so quickly. Waiting too long to reach out to an injury lawyer is a mistake. While you consider and reconsider your options, the evidence related to your accident is growing cold. On top of that, there's the statute of limitations to worry about: after a certain amount of time, you won't be able to sue anymore. So you need to be decisive about reaching out to an attorney.
Schedule a consultation with a car accident attorney in your area, and show up to that consultation ready to clearly explain your situation. Stick with the relevant details and lay out the paperwork that you have, including any police reports related to the incident, medical bills, pay stubs, and more.
From there, your lawyer will help you decide what your next steps should be. If your lawyer reviews the accident and believes you have a viable case, you have a much better chance of getting the compensation you need.