Being hit by another vehicle is a traumatic occurrence. In the best case, you are able to walk away from the accident unharmed. Beyond your physical health, there are numerous concerns that will have to be addressed both at the scene of the accident and afterward. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake in handling any of these issues, it could impact your chances of recovering either in the form of a settlement or in the form of a jury award. Here are some things that you should not do after you are hit by another car.
Do NOT Argue
There is a temptation to litigate the case with the other driver and try to convince them that they are at fault for the accident. Try to resist this inclination because what the other drivers think ultimately is not material because it is what the insurance company thinks that matters. In the meantime, when you argue with the other driver, you run the risk of losing control of your emotions and saying something that you may regret at a later point in time. It is better to focus your energy on trying to document the scene of the accident and speaking to potential witnesses.
Do NOT Leave the Scene of the Accident
Even if you were hit, you still cannot leave the scene of the accident without giving your information to the other driver. The reason why you really need to stay is to focus on gathering information at the scene of the accident. This may be the only time that you have to take pictures that can evidence your claim. Take advantage of the opportunity to gather information. If there are witnesses to the accident, make sure that you talk to them and get their contact information along with a description of what they say. The most important thing not to do is to leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive and an accident report can be filed.
Do NOT Admit Fault
What you say after an accident can become the basis of denying you the money that you deserve in a settlement. Even if it was in the heat of the moment, what you say can be used against you later in the process. You can describe your actions to your insurance company, but never speak the words “it was my fault.” If you were hit by another driver, the chances are that it was their fault unless you broke a traffic law that led to the accident. Let the insurance companies determine who was at fault without making any confession yourself.
Do NOT Speak to the Other Driver’s Insurance
The other driver’s insurance has an incentive to try to minimize their potential liability. Sometimes, they will resort to any means possible in order to get you to admit that you were at fault so that they will not have to pay your claim. Sometimes, they may even try deception on you in order to trick you into admitting something that can undermine your claim. If anyone calls you and references the accident, do not do so unless you are absolutely positive about who you are talking to. When you are represented by a lawyer, it is easier to say that you will not discuss the accident without your lawyer present or on the phone. Your attorney will keep you from making this type of mistake because the other insurance company cannot manipulate you or use their information superiority to their advantage.
Do NOT Settle Your Case Too Early
The insurance company may try to make you an early settlement offer. They generally are not doing it because they want you to have your money quickly. Instead, insurance companies are businesses and they know the true value of your claim. They are banking on the fact that you may either need the money or are just happy to get an offer and will run to accept the first offer that you receive. Knowing this, they may try to lowball you with an early settlement offer with the hope that you will accept it. The insurance company knows exactly what your claim is worth because this is their business. Never feel like you cannot negotiate with the insurance company and do not feel obligated to simply take what they give you. For more details check mydenverinjurylawyer.com.
Do NOT Go it Alone
When you have been in an accident where you have been hit by another car, you may feel and face pressure, especially when you will be the one collecting money. There may be an entire array of forces lined up against you to try to keep you from getting the compensation that you deserve. When this is the case, you are best off when you have someone who has been there before in your corner. A personal injury lawyer knows what your claim is worth and knows the tricks that the insurance companies will try to play to keep you from getting your money. They know how to fight for your rights so that not only are you not taken advantage of, but you also get every single penny that is coming to you.