A simple misstep after a California car accident can jeopardize your claim against an insurance company, which in a personal injury case means you could lose thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand what NOT to do after a car accident. Before discussing the 5 most common mistakes people make after a car accident, it’s important to remember what rights you have after your incident:
You have the right to remain silent
You have the right to free medical treatment
You have the right to compensation for material damage
You may be entitled to compensation for damages
1-Not calling the police
California law requires you to call the police at the event if you are involved in a car accident, especially if it resulted in injury, death, or property damage. Failure to contact authorities may result in a misdemeanor charge. Also, if you don’t have a police report, it will be more difficult to prove that another driver was at fault.
2-Not receiving medical treatment
Many people believe their injuries are not that serious. However, some injuries may show symptoms days or even weeks after an accident. If you wait too long to get treatment, the insurance company can argue that your injuries are caused by the car accident.
3-Not gathering evidence
After being involved in a car accident, you must gather evidence. These can be used to support your claim. Take photos of the scene and get the contact information of any witnesses at the scene.
4-Not talking to a lawyer
Parties involved in a car accident should avoid speaking to an insurance adjuster without first consulting with an attorney. An adjuster will try to obtain a statement that could be used to deny or reduce the amount you are seeking on your claim.
5-Not filing a claim on time
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in California is two years from the date of the accident. If you do not file a claim within this time frame, you will be legally prevented from recovering any compensation.