Even a minor fender-bender can be psychologically overwhelming. The combination of a collision and a sudden adrenaline rush can make people anxious. Unfortunately, even a small error can lead to costly consequences—even if you are not responsible for the accident.
Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid after being involved in a Missouri car crash.
Not Calling the Police
Maybe you are running late for work, or the other motorist is deeply apologetic. You may be tempted to settle the matter amicably. While your intentions may be benign, you should not take any chances with your health and well-being. Law enforcement can help investigate the circumstances of an accident, giving you evidence to use later.
You can also use their report to bolster your case in court or to fight for a larger insurance settlement.
Not Gathering Evidence
Just because you called the police does not mean you should not gather evidence. If you are not severely injured, document the crash as well as its circumstances. Take pictures of all involved vehicles and objects from every angle; consider doing a video walk-around, too. Be sure to collect any witnesses’s names and contact information, as they may be able to offer testimony if the at-fault motorist denies that they caused the crash.
Not Going to the Doctor
Even if you do not believe you have been injured, you should always seek medical attention after an accident. The immediate shock of a collision can mask severe pain, and a physician can help identify wounds you did not even know you had. Aside from ensuring your health, a doctor’s visit shows the other driver’s insurance company that you had concerns about your physical well-being and are not just seeking a big payday months after the accident actually happened.
Not Knowing When Not to Speak Up
If the other motorist reports the accident to their insurance company promptly, they may send an agent to ask you questions. You should never give a statement to the other motorist’s insurer—it could be used against you in court.
Not Calling Your Attorney
After you have taken stock of your situation and gotten emergency medical help, your car crash attorney should be the first person you call. If you were unable to gather evidence, they could do it for you. They will also begin compiling all the facts of your collision into a comprehensive case which can be taken to court or used to negotiate a better settlement from the insurance company.