What NOT to Do After a Car Accident: The 4 Things You Should Avoid
A car accident is the last thing that anyone plans for or wants to deal with – a car accident is traumatizing and shocking, and the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and time-consuming.
At the office of the Levinson Law Group, we empathize with you if you’ve been in a car crash in California, and know how frustrating navigating the car accident claims process can be.
While you’re probably familiar with a number of things that you should do after being involved in a car accident, such as filing a police report and notifying your insurer of the accident, you may be less certain about what you should not do after a car accident.
Consider these tips for things that you should avoid doing when navigating your car accident claim and trying to maximize your compensation award–
1. Do NOT Admit Fault
One of the most important things that you should know after being involved in a car accident is that an admission of fault can ruin your claim. As such, do not admit fault to anyone after the crash, including the other driver, the police officer who responds to the scene, or your insurance company.
This does not mean that you have to lie about fault; rather, you should simply say “I don’t know,” if they ask, or respond that you’d rather speak to your lawyer before giving a recorded statement.
Note that, “I’m at fault,” or, “This wouldn’t have happened but for my….” are not the only things that can be construed as fault admissions. Simply saying, “I’m sorry,” can even be used against you, as an insurance adjuster may question exactly what you’re sorry for.
2. Do NOT Speak to the Other Party’s Insurer or Sign Anything Without a Lawyer
After an accident, you’ll likely receive contact from the other party’s car insurance company. They will ask you to give a statement about the collision. They may also ask you to sign various documents. These range from a release of your health records to a settlement and release of claim and more.
Whatever you do, do not speak to the other party’s insurer (other than to provide basic information, such as your name, driver’s license number, insurance information, date of accident, etc.) or sign anything without consulting with an attorney first. The role of the insurance adjuster is to find ways to diminish the value of your claim, and anything that you say could be used against you. What’s more, if you sign a release of claims, that’s it – you are forfeiting your right to pursue further damages.
3. Do NOT Post on Social Media
Something that you may not think much about after a car accident, but which could have a significant effect on the outcome of your claim, is posting on social media. This may seem harmless to you, but you can be sure that an insurance adjuster will be paying close attention to your activities, both online and offline.
As such, anything that you put on social media, could be used against you. Examples are, a description of your injuries, an update about your recovery, a picture of you spending time with friends, etc.
For example, if you claim that you’ve broken your arm and then check-in at the local swimming pool, the insurance adjuster will probably try to argue that your claim of a broken arm is invalid. The reasoning is that it’s not as serious as you report since you’re able to go to the pool. Stay off of social media. This way, you’re not handing over any details about your life that can devalue your claim.
4. Do NOT Forget to Call a Lawyer
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you don’t need legal counsel. Even car accidents that result in minor injuries are easier to navigate with assistance from an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney can help you to prove fault, calculate your damages, and negotiate your settlement.
Of course, a lawyer will also represent you in all conversations with the insurance company. They want to help protect your best interests.
Learn more about what to do and what not to do after a car accident. We have talented California car accident lawyers who can be of assistance. Please call the Levinson Law Group today or send us a message telling us more about your crash.