In 2012 alone, there were 294,757 car accident in the state of New York. No matter how cautiously you drive, mishaps can happen anytime and even the most seasoned drivers can make mistakes after an accident. Understanding why/what these mistakes can cost will help you avoid them.
Here are the top ten mistakes you should avoid after a car accident.
- Not calling the police. It is very important to call the police no matter how big or small the accident is. Police can help in various ways, such as:
- Make record of the accident.
- Can obtain information about the other driver if they do not provide it to you.
- Will take witness statements, measurements, photos of the damage and determine if someone needs medical attention.
If the other driver gives inaccurate or fake information and you did not report the incident to the police; your own insurance company may try to deny your claim.
- Not getting information of the other party involved. If you had an accident it is important to get the name, address and telephone numbers of the other party involved in the accident. Make sure the information they provide are up to date and accurate.
- Not getting the information of the witnesses at the accident scene. The investigating officer (if there is one) will get telephone numbers of the witnesses. However, if there is no police officer at the scene yet, approach the witnesses yourself and ask for the names, addresses and contact numbers. If your case is a contested one (both sides say they are not at fault) witness statements can be helpful in determining who is at fault.
- Not taking pictures at the accident scene. If possible, take pictures of the damaged cars involved in the accident, other damages and distinct landmark. Pictures taken immediately will be helpful to document your claim.
- Not calling the insurance company to report the accident. It is important to call your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company to report the accident. Failing to do so could lead to a denial of benefits to you or additional hassles when sorting out your claim.
- Not seeking medical treatment. You may not feel the need of medical help right after the accident but seeking evaluation by qualified medical professionals is important because pain may show up later. If you didn’t get medical attention shortly after the accident, your claim may not be given full and proper consideration.
- Not having your car damaged evaluated by a professional. A professional mechanic will be able to properly document the damaged done to your car as a result of the collision.
- Not insisting for an appropriate rental car. If you are driving a larger vehicle and are involved in an accident, you may be told that you are only allowed to rent a “24.99 vehicle.” You do not necessarily need to accept this. Make your argument as to why you are entitled to a larger vehicle. Show them the four car seats in the back of your mini-van and how they won’t fit into a small compact car. Ask for a claims supervisor or manager and document every person you have spoken to. Eventually you should prevail.
- Not protecting your privacy and personal information. Do not provide your private and personal information to the other person’s insurance company in order to have them handle your claim. If you are making a claim to have your car fixed, the insurance company should not require your date of birth and social security number. They may take your personal information and put it in a centralized claims bureau. This allows them to see if you have made claims in the past. Keep your personal information private.
- Not giving a recorded statement. After the accident, you may be contacted by an insurance company representative. They will inquire about the accident, the damages to the vehicle and the status of your injuries. Be sure that your statement is recorded by the claim representative. Keep a copy of the recorded statement.
Are You Injured In A Car Accident? Call Us For Legal Help!
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident due to someone else’s fault, it is very important to take prompt action to protect your rights. Speak to our lawyer at The Reinken Law Firm and discuss your case. Call us today at 203.541.0090/ 203-491-4404/ 203-418-7037.