A car crash is a stressful event. There could be injuries, significant damage to your vehicle or other property, and confusion as insurance companies sort out what exactly happened.
Despite the shock that often occurs after an accident, try to remain calm. Here are the nine biggest mistakes to avoid after a car accident in Alabama:
- Not calling the police. Always contact the police so trained officers can investigate the crash. Exchanging insurance and contact information with the other driver and then leaving the crash scene without a police investigation may make it more difficult for you to have your damages repaired. You also should take photos with your cell phone and write down what you believe caused the crash.
- Not getting medical treatment. Don’t delay seeking medical treatment. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, it’s important that you see a doctor immediately. There are many types of injuries that at first may not appear serious. Or, you may think that because you can “walk away,” you’re okay. It is always best to seek medical treatment as soon after an accident as possible.
- Not following doctor’s instructions. Always follow your doctor’s instructions. Your failure to do so may cause the adjuster to question whether you are as injured as you claim; otherwise, you would have done what the doctor told you.
- Talking with insurance companies without a lawyer. Be careful whom you talk with about your case. Know how to deal with insurance companies after a car accident. Speaking about your case to insurance adjusters or attorneys — or anyone on the side of the defense — can be damaging to your own interests.
- Waiting to file a claim. Don’t delay. There is a limited time in which you can file a claim. In Alabama, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim and lawsuit. A qualified attorney can tell you whether you have a case, but if you miss the deadline to file, you will not be able to recover anything.
- Sharing your activities on social media. Beware of social media. Don’t share your story on Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets. Insurance adjusters can use your social media outlets and anything you say against you.
- Signing releases or other papers before talking to your lawyer. Don’t sign your rights away. Insurance companies want nothing more than for you to sign medical and other releases, or to accept a settlement that is lower than you may deserve.
- Not calling a lawyer. Contact an attorney as quickly as you can. You aren’t expected to know the law or even your personal rights under the law. Turn these concerns over to an attorney who is knowledgeable about Alabama laws concerning vehicle accidents. Personal injury lawyers at Cory Watson don’t charge a fee to discuss whether you have a case. Please contact us to see how we can help.
- Telling a lie. Do not lie.
To keep track of everything you need to do in the event of an accident download our Alabama Car Accident Tip Sheet.