Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to obtain compensation to help you pay medical bills, replace lost wages or damaged property and cover other losses.
But regardless of what you deserve, no one, not even “your” insurance company, really wants to just give you money.
The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC car accident attorney Asheville NC helps car accident victims in Western North Carolina negotiate with insurance carriers and pursue legal claims against others to obtain the money they deserve.
We have more than 30 years of experience helping Western North Carolina residents, and we offer some ideas about mistakes to avoid after a car accident below. For further help, contact us at 828-367-7998 or through our online contact form for a free and confidential evaluation of your legal options for seeking compensation after a car accident.
After a car accident remember to:
- Do not fail to get medical care. Sometimes a car accident will cause an injury that does not become evident until 24 hours or more after the wreck. If you chose not to get emergency medical care immediately after your car accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. In addition to getting the care you need for any injuries you suffered in the crash, by visiting a doctor you’ll have a record of receiving medical treatment after your accident in case you need to pursue a legal claim later.
- Do not lose your cool. It is human nature to get upset if you have been in a car accident and someone else was to blame. But you could cause more problems for yourself if you get too angry. Try to remain calm and proceed in a professional manner. Be polite to the other drivers and their passengers, and do not make accusations. Cooperate with police, emergency medical personnel and any other officials who respond to the accident. Answer questions truthfully, but only with facts, not opinions or speculation. Don’t provide information beyond what you are asked for.
- Do not rely on your memory. If you pursue an insurance claim or a broader legal claim, you will be asked what happened. Your answers will be easier to provide and more accurate – as well as more convincing – if they are based on documented facts. Take photos of everything at the accident scene – car positions and damage, skid marks, damaged street signs and guardrails, your injuries, and so on. Record or write down names and contact information, too. Once you are home, write down or record your version of how the accident happened. It may also be helpful to keep a journal as you recover from your injuries. You can record how the accident has limited your daily activities and how the pain has affected you.
- Do not fail to call the police. You should contact the police after an accident involving a motor vehicle. The police may not do much about a fender-bender in a parking lot, for example, but it always helps to have a police report about your car accident on file. Never leave the scene of an accident before the police arrive. Answer the officer’s questions honestly, and be ready to provide your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. But don’t volunteer information or make accusations, and never admit fault or responsibility for a car accident.
- Do not forget about the police report. Be sure to get a copy of the police report about your car accident. Ask the responding officer how and when it will be available (it may be online), and get a copy as soon as you can.
- Do not take the insurance company’s first settlement offer. Insurance adjusters want to settle your claim quickly and move on. Their primary obligation is to save their employer money by making your claim go away as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The first offer from an insurance company is not likely to cover all of your losses fully and fairly. If you receive it too soon, you may not yet know the full costs of your accident. Don’t accept the first offer and don’t ever sign anything an insurance company representative presents to you without consulting with a car accident lawyer first. You might sign away your right to compensation that you need and deserve.
- Do not handle your accident on your own. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. It’s really as simple as that. At The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC, we have decades of experience investigating car accidents, negotiating with insurance companies and presenting cases on behalf of accident victims in court throughout Western North Carolina. We know how to obtain results, and we know what the proper results are – what the true current and future costs of a serious car accident are likely to be. All cases are different and there are no guarantees, but in most cases, an experienced lawyer can obtain a better settlement than you can on your own.
Let An Experienced Western NC Car Accident Attorney Help
Don’t make the mistake of going it alone if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident. The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC in injury lawyers in Asheville can help you obtain an appropriate settlement for the injuries and other losses a car wreck has caused you and your family. Contact The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC at 828-367-7998 or through our online form to speak with a dedicated car accident lawyer in Western North Carolina. We have years of experience helping car crash victims just like you get the financial assistance they need for a successful recovery. We can provide a free initial consultation about your case with no strings attached.