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The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make After a Car Accident

Posted on September 2nd, 2017 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

Most of us prepare for the possibility of a car accident. We purchase insurance, make sure our car has certain safety features, and use caution when we drive.

But as an auto accident lawyer Memphis TN has trusted for decades, I know most of us don’t prepare for what to do AFTER an accident. Many people make the same 5 most common mistakes:

  1. Say how sorry they are

Right after the accident, many people will jump out of the car and say how sorry they are, even if they weren’t at fault. The stress and anxiety makes people feel like they have to apologize. But unfortunately, the insurance companies can use that against you. They’ll say it was an admission of fault. Most of us say we’re sorry to mean “excuse me” and “it’s terrible this happened.” But insurance companies don’t like to give the benefit of the doubt.

  1. Fail to get all the information on site

After an accident, most people know you need to get the driver’s insurance information. But you should also get information from any witnesses and take pictures of the scene.

If you need immediate medical attention, you obviously can’t get this information right then. But most of the time, I see drivers who absolutely could get the info but don’t realize how important it might be later.

  1. Refuse to see a doctor

If you don’t feel any pain after an accident, you may think you’re fine. Unfortunately, whiplash can show up a week or two after the accident. Some people start to experience migraines and other pain. If they wait too long to get it treated, it may be much harder to prove a connection to the crash.

I recommend going to the doctor after an accident, no matter what. A doctor can show you what stress the crash might have caused on your body and tell you what to look out for as you recover.

  1. Talk with the other driver’s insurance company

I tell my clients not to go anywhere near the other driver’s insurance company. Hang up the phone if they call, and don’t ask them any questions. The minute you start talking, they will look for ways to prove you were at least partially at fault. They may also offer you tempting settlement options. Without an attorney, you have no idea how good an offer it might be, and it likely won’t cover your expenses from the wreck. So instead I always tell people to get an attorney and let the insurance company talk to them instead.

  1. Decide not to call an attorney first thing

Sometimes people will talk with their insurance company and decide to tackle their car accident case on their own. I strongly urge you not to do that. Contact a car accident attorney and let them discuss your case for free. You may be shocked by what they say. They’re used to investigating car accident cases and working with the insurance companies, so you could get a much higher compensation with their help.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into car accidents.

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