According to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, there were 6,264,000 non-fatal crashes in the United States – that’s 3.8% more crashes than the year before.
Considering those numbers, it’s understandable why the chances of being in a crash at least once in our lives are so high. If you are ever involved in a car accident in the future, it’s important that you know how to conduct yourself. Otherwise, it can affect your personal injury settlement or award.
Car accidents can be very stressful events that send people’s hearts racing and their adrenaline rushing. Sometimes, people are involved in accidents and they are so stressed about the crash, that they say and do things that cause them trouble down the road. Don’t let that happen to you!
Our advice on what not to do after you’ve been in a crash:
- Don’t flee the scene of an accident, ever. You are required by law to remain at the scene of an accident, check to see if anyone was hurt and exchange information with the other parties in the accident. If you flee the scene of a crash, you can face criminal charges.
- Don’t admit fault! Sometimes it’s a natural response to say, “I’m so sorry” or “It was all my fault,” but you must refrain from admitting fault. It may not be your fault, or the other driver may be partially to blame. It’s much better to let the insurance companies decide who’s at-fault rather than to risk your claim.
- Don’t agree not to call the police; you need the police. Not only do they write up a police report (which is valuable), the police prevent the other driver from providing you with false information (which happens). If the police ticket the other driver for breaking a traffic law, it will make your case that much easier to prove.
- Don’t sign a Medical Release for the other driver’s insurance company. This allows them to dig into your medical history and try to find a way to blame your new injuries on an old medical condition. Even if an old condition is aggravated by the accident, the insurance company has no right to use it to diminish your claim – but that doesn’t stop insurance companies from trying!
If you were recently injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach, contact our firm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free case evaluation. We would be glad to answer your questions and discuss filing a claim for compensation!