One of the best ways to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation after a car accident is to talk to a California car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash. An attorney helps you take the steps necessary to protect your legal rights. However, an attorney also helps you avoid mistakes that could harm your personal injury case.
Below are several Do’s and Don’ts that anyone who has been injured in a car accident should know.
Ten Tips for Car Accident Claims
1. DO call 911 to report the car accident immediately.
You need a written record of the car accident for your claim. Do not allow another driver to convince you to exchange information unless instructed to do so by the emergency operator. If the police do not respond to the accident, self-reported the accident to the correct law enforcement agency.
2. DON’T accept liability for the collision.
Do not apologize for the car crash. Saying “I’m sorry” could be interpreted as accepting fault. Accepting responsibility for the cause of the accident can reduce the compensation you receive for an injury claim. California’s pure comparative fault standard of apportioning damages reduces your compensation by the percentage of fault assigned to you for causing the accident.
3. DO document the accident scene.
If possible, make a video of the entire accident scene, including the positions of the vehicles, vehicle damage, traffic signs, skid marks, and other damage. Take photographs too. If witnesses stopped, ask each witness for their names and contact information.
4. DO go to the doctor as soon as possible.
The shock of being in an accident can mask the symptoms of some injuries. Even if you do not believe you are injured, do not admit it. If the officer asks if you are injured, it is okay to say that you are not sure how severely you are injured and you intend to see a doctor as soon as possible. Make sure that you go to the doctor as soon as possible. Delays in medical care can hurt your injury claim.
5. DON’T use social media or discuss the accident or injuries electronically.
Nothing you send electronically or post online is private. A defense attorney may gain access to your social media and other accounts. It is best to avoid using social media during your personal injury case. Be cautious about discussing your health or your case by email or other electronic methods. These communications could become evidence during a trial.
6. DON’T agree to provide a written or recorded statement.
An insurance claims adjuster may pressure you to provide a statement. Talk to an attorney first. Something you say could harm your case. Remember, most conversations with insurance companies are recorded.
7. DON’T sign a medical records release form.
The same is true for a medical records release. Do not sign a release. Your attorney provides the necessary medical records to the insurance provider. The insurance company may attempt to access your entire medical history instead of limiting the records to the accident.
8. DO document damages carefully.
Keep copies of all receipts, bills, and other evidence of expenses related to the crash or your injuries. Strong, detailed evidence increases your chance of recovering maximum compensation for a claim.
9. DO follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
Keep all doctor’s appointments and follow your doctor’s treatment plan. If you do not agree with the treatment plan, talk to your attorney about seeking a second medical opinion. Failing to follow a treatment plan without justification could hurt your case.
10. DO contact an experienced car accident attorney quickly.
As soon as possible, contact an attorney with experience handling car accident claims. The insurance company has a team of professionals working to protect its best interest. Even the playing field as soon as possible by hiring a legal team to represent you.
Contact Our California Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
If a negligent or careless driver caused your injury, start fighting for your right to full compensation of all car accident damages. Contact our California car accident attorneys to request a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help you maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for a car accident claim.