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Common Mistakes Made Immediately Following a Car Accident

Following the right steps can help you maintain peace of mind and avoid mistakes after an auto accident.

Summary

  • After a car accident, even if you feel okay, seek medical attention as adrenaline can mask pain and lead to worse outcomes.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and considered a hit-and-run. Stay until first responders arrive.
  • A police report is crucial evidence, so call the police after an accident. Don’t admit fault, but exchange information with all involved parties and gather witness information.
  • Don’t discuss the accident with insurance companies besides your own. Avoid social media posts and consult a lawyer to maximize compensation.

The aftermath of a car accident is often confusing and stressful. Adrenaline can cloud your judgment, and it may not be clear what you should be doing. However, the decisions you make in those crucial moments can make a big impact on your long-term outcomes.

This includes the amount of compensation you’re able to recover. Simple mistakes after a car accident can seriously harm your personal injury claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia.

We have extensive experience in car accident cases, and we can help you defend your rights and recover maximum compensation. To get started, give us a call at (800) 320-4357 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a WHG auto accident attorney.

The Causes and Consequences of Car Accidents

Car accidents, unfortunately, are a common occurrence, with millions of crashes occurring every year. They can range from minor fender-benders with little damage to serious collisions with devastating consequences.

Common causes of car accidents include:

  • Driver error is the biggest culprit. This includes distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone), speeding, driving under the influence (DUI), drowsiness, reckless driving, and road rage.
  • External factors also play a role. Weather conditions like rain, snow, fog, and slick roads can significantly reduce visibility and control. Additionally, vehicle malfunctions like brake failure or tire blowouts can cause auto accidents.

If your car accident was caused by someone else’s negligent action, they may be liable for the damages you suffer as a result of the auto accident. Let your car accident lawyer determine the cause or causes of the crash. Assuming that you know exactly what caused the collision before an investigation is one of the common mistakes many drivers make after a car accident, and it can cost you in terms of compensation.

Common Car Accident Injuries

The injuries resulting from a car accident can vary greatly depending on the severity of the crash. Some of the most common injuries in car crashes include:

  • Whiplash: This is a neck injury caused by the sudden forceful back-and-forth movement of the head. It can cause pain, stiffness, and headaches.
  • Soft tissue injuries: This includes sprains, strains, and bruises to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These injuries can be painful and limit mobility.
  • Broken bones: The force of a crash can break any bone in the body, with limbs, ribs, and the collarbone being frequent targets.
  • Head injuries: These range from mild concussions to life-threatening traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
  • Back injuries: Car accidents can cause spinal cord injuries, herniated discs, and other back problems. These injuries can be debilitating and long-lasting.
  • Facial injuries: Cuts, lacerations, and even broken bones in the face can occur from airbags, debris, or hitting the steering wheel.
  • Internal injuries: These injuries can be difficult to diagnose and may include an internal hemorrhage, organ damage, and internal bruising.

Common Mistakes After a Car Accident

If you make one of these mistakes after a car accident, that doesn’t mean you can’t recover compensation. However, it may be more difficult to secure the full value of your car accident damages.

Failing to Check for Injuries

Adrenaline can mask pain, so seek medical attention even if you don’t feel injured. You don’t want to leave an injury untreated, which can lead to worse long-term outcomes. Your medical records will also be a valuable piece of evidence if you decide to file a compensation claim.

Leaving the Scene of the Auto Accident

Even a minor accident can have legal consequences. Leaving the scene is considered a hit-and-run accident and carries significant penalties. Make sure you stick around until first responders arrive. If there are no injuries, you may exchange information on private property away from the scene. However, it’s best to follow the proper steps every time.

Not Calling the Police

A police report is crucial evidence documenting the accident scene, including witness statements and the investigating officer’s determination of fault. Failure to get police involved can mean you don’t receive the compensation you’re owed.

Admitting Fault

Don’t speculate or apologize! While it’s natural to want to be polite, phrases like “It’s my fault” or even a simple “I’m sorry” can be used against you. Stick to factual statements about the car accident. Accepting responsibility is one of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident.

Not Exchanging Information

Get contact details for all involved parties, including names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance details, and license plate numbers. Also, try to gather information from any nearby witnesses, who can corroborate your story of the accident if other involved parties try to challenge it.

Not Documenting the Scene

Photos and videos are powerful evidence in a car accident case. Capture pictures and videos of the damage to vehicles, skid marks, the surrounding area, and any visible injuries.

Discussing the Accident with Insurance Companies

Be cautious about what you say to insurance carriers after a car accident. Insurance companies are looking for any excuse to avoid paying what they owe. Contact your own insurance company first and avoid detailed discussions about fault with them and other parties’ insurance companies.

Accepting a Quick Settlement

Don’t rush to accept the first settlement you’re offered. The full extent of your injuries may not be immediately apparent, and insurance companies will often make a quick offer that they know doesn’t cover your true damages. Accepting a lowball offer before understanding the full cost of your injuries can leave you financially strapped.

Not Reporting the Accident to Your Insurance Company

You are obligated to report the car accident to your insurance company. Let them know about the auto accident as soon as you can, and cooperate with their investigation.

Posting About the Accident on Social Media

Public statements can be misconstrued. Avoid social media posts about the accident, which may end up being used as evidence against you.

Compensation for Auto Accident Victims Despite Mistakes After a Car Accident

After a car accident, you may be shaken and injured. You may struggle with the traumatic experience, and deal with unexpected bills. You deserve to be fairly compensated.

In Florida, victims of car accidents may be entitled to compensation beyond just car repairs. Car accident damages can include:

  • Medical expenses: Hospital bills, doctor visits, therapy, and medication for your injuries.
  • Lost wages: Money you couldn’t earn because of your auto accident injuries.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain caused by the car accident.
  • And more

The amount you receive depends on how serious your injuries are and who was at fault.  An attorney can help you navigate the system and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Get in Touch With a Florida Car Accident Lawyer at WHG

In the aftermath of a car accident, especially when dealing with injuries and insurance companies, having a car accident lawyer on your side can be a huge advantage.  An experienced attorney can:

  • Investigate the accident to determine fault.
  • Gather evidence to support your claim.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to maximize your compensation.
  • Represent your car accident case in court, if necessary.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. The sooner you seek legal counsel, the better chance you have of protecting your rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Here at Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial hardships car accidents can cause. Our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys has a proven track record of success in helping car accident victims recover the compensation they deserve.

Don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (800) 320-4357.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I was hurt as a rideshare passenger in an Uber accident?

You can still use these guidelines to avoid common mistakes after a car accident, but there are a few extra steps you should take to protect yourself. Make sure you document everything related to your trip, including your route and your driver’s information.

You can also report the collision to Uber. Liability in accidents with Uber or Lyft drivers is more complicated than in a typical car accident claim, so don’t wait to consult a rideshare accident attorney about your case.

Is it a mistake to wait to file a personal injury claim after a Florida car accident?

In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means you have two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. It’s important to consult with a Florida auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash to ensure you meet all deadlines.

The driver who hit me was uninsured. Can I still recover compensation for my auto accident damages?

Uninsured motorist coverage can be a lifesaver in situations where the at-fault driver has no insurance. This coverage, often included in your own car insurance policy, can help compensate you for your injuries. Consult with your insurance company or an attorney to understand your options and ensure you have adequate coverage in the event of an uninsured driver accident.

No Win, No Fee Commitment

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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