Jason Stephens | June 8, 2021 | Car Accidents
If you have never been involved in a car accident, it can be overwhelming. You may not know what you should or should not do after a car accident in Fort Worth. It is understandable to be frightened.
Our car accident lawyers in Fort Worth fight to get car accident victims fair compensation for their injuries and damages. We have put together a list of the dos and don’ts after a car accident. We hope that it helps you and provides useful information as you consider your options.
Five Things You Should Do After a Car Accident
Below are five things you want to do as quickly as possible after a car crash:
1. Report the Accident to the Police Immediately
Call 911 to report the traffic accident and request assistance. Most traffic accidents must be reported to the police because they involve injuries or property damage. It is best to have a written accident report available when you file an insurance claim.
2. Seek Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
Even if you do not believe that you are seriously injured, it is best to seek medical care as soon as possible. Aches and pains could be symptoms of a serious injury. Delays in medical care give the insurance company a reason to question your injury claim.
Do not state that you are “fine” or “okay” at the accident scene. Instead, state that you intend to see your physician if you decide not to go to the emergency room.
3. Document the Accident Scene
If it is safe, take pictures of the accident scene and make a video using your cell phone. Try to capture the location of each vehicle, property damage, and the surrounding area. Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
4. Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan
Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. If your doctor recommends physical therapy, follow through with the therapy. Do not return to work or perform activities until your doctor releases you.
If you fail to follow your doctor’s treatment plan, the insurance company may allege that you made your injuries worse by failing to follow your doctor’s orders. In these cases, they will argue you are not entitled to full compensation for your claim.
5. Talk to a Car Accident Attorney
Discuss your accident case with a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. A car accident attorney can review your claim and give you guidance as you consider an injury claim. Knowing your legal rights and options can help you protect your best interests.
Four Things You Should Not Do After a Car Accident
You avoid doing these things after a car wreck:
1. Do Not Admit Fault for the Car Accident
Never say you are sorry or apologize for the accident. These statements can be interpreted as an admission of fault or negligence. If you are at fault for the car crash, the other parties could sue you for damages.
2. Do Not Sign Any Documents Without Discussing Them With a Personal Injury Lawyer
The insurance provider may ask you to provide a written statement or sign a medical records release. Insurance companies use these tactics to gather information to undervalue or deny your accident claim. It is best to have a lawyer review all documents before you sign them.
3. Avoid Using Social Media and Posting Information Online
The information you post online is never truly private. A defense attorney or insurance investigator may discover your posts and comments. Photographs and statements can be easily misunderstood.
A picture of you gardening or cutting a cake at a birthday party could be used at trial to convince the jury you were not seriously injured. It is usually best to refrain from using social media and posting online until your personal injury case is resolved.
4. Do Not Accept a Settlement Offer if You Have Not Completed Medical Treatment
Initial settlement offers from insurance providers are generally lowball offers. The offer may be thousands of dollars less than the actual value of your personal injury claim.
Before signing a settlement agreement, talk with a personal injury lawyer. If you accept the offer, you give up the right to file a personal injury lawsuit or demand more money for additional damages. You want to make sure that the offer you accept compensates you fully for your injuries and damages.
Bottom Line – Make Sure You Have All the Information You Need
The mistakes people make in handling their injury claims stem from a lack of information. Unless you are an attorney or are familiar with the insurance claims process, you might not have the information you need to protect your interests. Talk to a lawyer to ensure you make a decision that benefits you and not the insurance company.