Knowing what to do after a car accident is one thing. Knowing what not to do after a car accident is also important. To best protect your rights after a car accident, here are five things you should not to do after a car accident:
1. Not call the police after the accident.
I understand that waiting for the police after a car accident can be frustrating. Some agencies won’t even come out if there are no reported injuries. However, it is very important that the accident is documented. Insurance companies seem to put weight on the magnitude of the crash based on whether police go to the scene. Even if law enforcement will not come to the scene of the accident, it is important to go to the police station and fill out the necessary paperwork.
2. Fail to take enough pictures of accident scene, damage to the vehicles and injuries.
We know the old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, no pictures are worth even more. What too many people do after a car accident is fail to take enough photos of what is important in documenting liability and damages. At the accident scene, take pictures of the traffic light, the intersection, and road marking or skid marks, the locations of the vehicles after the crash. Also, take photos of the property damage. Close-up photos are fine, but make sure you take photos to appreciate where on the vehicle the damage it. Take many photos. You can never have too many. If you were rear-ended, open the trunk of your car and take pictures of the inside. If the impact was to the front, open the hood and take pictures in there. Lastly, remember that bruises disappear. Take photos of your injuries and make sure you date the injury photos.
3. Wait too long to get medical treatment.
The hassles of treating with doctors after a car accident just adds to the frustrations surrounding a car accident. However, one of the most important things to do after a car accident is to document any injuries. Too many insurance companies cling onto the fact that someone waiting two days to see a doctor. I understand the “It’ll be fine in a few days…be tough, walk it off” philosophy, but that is not good for your medical status or your case. Also, Florida law requires you to see a medical provider within fourteen (14) days. Failure to do so will result in you losing insurance benefits that you paid for.
4. Fail to report ALL injuries to the doctors as soon as possible.
Insurance companies search medical records to try to claim that certain injuries after a car accident are not related to the car accident. One way they do this is to point out that the client did not complain of the condition to the doctor on the first visit. Although you may be focused on the worst pain and worry about the other less significant pain later, it is important to report all injuries to your doctor. Otherwise, insurance companies may attack this delay in reporting and argue that you are just trying to “game” the system, and raise the value of your claim by “making up” additional symptoms later on.
5. Give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company.
One thing not to do after a car accident is to give a recorded statement to the at fault driver’s insurance company. In fact, this could be the worst thing to do. Insurance companies will use what you say in the recorded statement against you. For example, if you didn’t tell them that you were having neck pain because it didn’t show up until after the shoulder pain subsided a bit, they will claim that your neck pain is simply not related to the crash.
These are just a few things that you should not do after a car accident. What you should do after a car accident is talk to an attorney who understands the do’s and don’t after a car accident. Whether it is me or someone else, it is important that you have someone giving you guidance on the right things to do and what to avoid.
Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson help families who are impacted by a Tampa Bay car accident. As a partner of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A., the longest established personal injury firm in Clearwater, Attorney Matthew Noyes even wrote a book on it – Do You Really Need An Attorney After a Car Accident? If you have questions are a car accident, call Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.