Over 6 million car accidents occur every single year in the U.S. alone. In nearly half of all accidents someone is injured. That means that over 3 million injuries a year occur as a result of automobile accidents. Further, around 2 million car accident victims suffer permanent injuries as a result of the accident. Statistically, 25% of all drivers can be in a car accident within a 5 year period.
If you or a loved one is an automobile accident, it is important to remember what not to do immediately following the accident. Certain actions taken following a car accident can hinder your later chance at recovery. To this end, we have prepared the following list of the top things you should not do following an accident:
- Admit fault—as tempting as it may be to discuss the issue of fault with fellow drivers, police officers and witnesses, it is imperative that you do not do so. Being in a car accident is a traumatic event that may cloud your perceptions immediately following the accident. Fault is a legal conclusion that is not for you to determine. If you admit fault at the scene of the accident, it can seriously affect your later recovery. Therefore, under no circumstances should you admit fault, and you would be wise to avoid discussions of fault altogether until you speak with your attorney.
- Provide any recorded statements—just as you should not admit fault, you should also not provide any recorded statements until you have consulted with your automobile accident attorney. Any statements you provide immediately following the accident can later be used as evidence and, depending on what is said, can severely damage your claim.
- Sign any authorizations for records—do not sign authorizations allowing other parties the right to view your medical records. This again could affect your future recovery and you need an experienced personal injury attorney to advise you fully on whether your records should be released.
- Wait to go to a doctor—people often downplay their potential injuries after being in a car accident and wait for days or even weeks after an accident to see a doctor. This can be a costly mistake. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more damaging it is to your case. The insurer will attempt to use that wait time against you. Do not delay seeking treatment if you have been injured in an automobile accident.
- Talk to the insurance company—you should notify your insurance companies of the accident, but after that do not speak to anyone from the insurance companies before consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney. Statements made to the insurer can hinder your later recovery. Let a professional personal injury attorney with years of experience dealing with insurance companies handle your case for you.
- Settle your claim—do not settle your claim without speaking to an experienced local personal injury attorney. A skilled personal injury attorney will fight for you to receive full compensation for your injuries. Quick settlements are often for far less than you are really entitled to. Additionally, do not settle your claim until you have made a full recovery per your doctor. Settling too early may leave you with continued medical bills for injuries that were not in fact healed.
The Giddens Law Firm’s Jackson MS car accident attorneys have over 13 years experience representing victims of automobile accidents. The Giddens Law Firm will fight for you to receive full compensation for your injuries sustained as a result of an automobile accident. Call us today at (601) 355-2022 for a free case evaluation.