Car accidents can change your life in a fraction of a second. One minute, you’re driving to work, and the next, your car has been completely destroyed. You may feel pain, or your adrenaline may be pulsing through your veins, making you oblivious to any injuries.
In most cases, accident victims usually don’t see it coming. Now you’re at your most vulnerable, which is why you need to avoid the five common mistakes people make after a car accident.
Mistake #1: Not Getting Immediate Medical Attention
It’s very common for car accident victims to ignore any injuries when they’re not bleeding. However, to do so is a bad idea. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injury or internal bleeding, don’t have any initial external symptoms. You could be endangering your life by not going to the hospital.
Others are terrified of how much a ride in an ambulance would cost. The best advice is to not think about those things and get the medical care you need. If nothing is wrong, then you’re one of the lucky ones. But if you have a serious injury, getting prompt treatment can prevent it from becoming life-threatening. Additionally, getting treated will also show your injuries were caused by the accident, and you’ll have the documentation to prove it.
Mistake #2: Not Filing Your Claim Quickly Enough
Every state has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims, and in Tennessee, it’s short at just one year from the date of your injuries. You shouldn’t delay contacting a Nashville car accident lawyer to help you file your claims as soon as possible after your accident.
You should also know that the sooner you have your attorney start on your case, the easier it will be for them to gather evidence to support your claim. In the days following the crash, surveillance footage from traffic cameras or nearby businesses will still be there. Attorneys also have a better chance of getting viable statements from witnesses since the accident will be fresh in their minds.
Mistake #3: Talking to the Other Driver’s Insurer
After you get into a car accident, you should inform your auto insurance company. Most accident victims don’t realize that they have no legal obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurer. The insurer might call under the guise that they’re making sure you’re OK, but all you need to tell them is to contact your attorney. Anything else you say could be turned against you and cause you to lose your claim.
Mistake #4: Accepting the First Offered Settlement
You may have already been in debt before the other driver smashed into your car. So it might sound pretty good when you get a call offering you a settlement. However, don’t accept the first offer without having a personal injury attorney review it.
The compensation you receive should include more than your past medical bills and property damage to your vehicle. You need to think about your future medical bills, such as ongoing medical care, physical therapy, and prescriptions. You also need to consider your lost wages when you can’t work due to your injuries. In fact, your injuries may be so severe that you will no longer be able to return to work in your field. This can hinder your future earnings. Plus, you can seek compensation for your mental anguish, disfigurement, and other non-economic damages.
Mistake #5: Posting About The Accident on Social Media
Perhaps the biggest mistake accident victims make is to post about the crash on social media platforms. You never want to discuss your personal injury case with anyone except your lawyer while the case is open. Doing so makes it easy for the defendant’s attorney to find evidence to use against you.
Even if you don’t say a thing about your accident or injuries online, posting anything can harm your case. Let’s say you’re having dinner with friends and take a photo. You smile through your pain while seated at the table, and it can be construed that your pain isn’t debilitating enough to interfere with your life.
You can avoid these mistakes by contacting an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.