No driver on the road every desires to get involved in a car crash, but somehow someway, crashes happen every single day. Whether you are a defensive driver, who is always alert while on the wheels, the chances of getting a wreck or a fender bender have increased this decade than it was two decades. It means that you have to be more careful as a driver, and most importantly, you must be prepared to deal with the aftermath of an accident, because it is always the beginning of a long chain of reactions in the background.
As a driver, at fault or not, it pays to know what you should do whenever you are involved in a car accident. It is how you handle yourself at the scene of crash that will determine whether or not you will get the compensation you need for the at fault’s driver insurance company, and if things get worse and you find yourself in need of pre-settlement loans to help with financial situation as you nurse your injuries, what you do at the scene of the accident will be of great importance. Illustrated here are some of the worst and most costly mistakes you must avoid immediately after car accidents:
Failure to collect evidence
Accident scenes may sometimes get very chaotic, but if you haven’t sustained serious injuries, it is imperative for you to get wise and act appropriately. After you have accounted for the safety of those involved in the accident, the next step is to begin collecting evidence, beginning with the photos of your car. While you take the photos of the car, also scan around and photograph things like blind spots, a road obstruction, and anything within the vicinity that might have contributed to the crash, either directly or indirectly. Also, remember to take down the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses around because you may need some as your witnesses should the case proceed to trial.
Allowing the other driver to get away
If you happen to be a victim of a hit and run, your greatest comfort should be in the uninsured motorist coverage in your policy, since this is what will take care of your damages. But you should note that there are up to five states that don’t allow this kind of coverage. These include Louisiana, Ohio, California, Georgia, and Colorado. This simply means that drivers who took minimum liability coverage in these states will only have to pay for the damages that happen to their cars and not to injuries caused by third parties during accidents.
In as much as you don’t wish to get involved in a hit-and-run accident, if you do happen to be a victim, however, it is imperative to take down the plate number of the car, or at least have a vivid memory of the make and the model of the car that hit you. These details will be vital when arguing your case for settlement, and if you happen to not have them, it may not be possible to qualify for pre-settlement loans should you find yourself in a position where you need extra funding to take care of your bills if the accident makes it impossible for you to continue with your regular job.
Signing a release form
When you get involved in some accidents, you may get out of the car to find the driver on the wrong to be a very nice person, and willing to take all the responsibilities of the crash. In some cases, they may be good enough, and instantly accept to pay for the deductible while still at the accident scene and then request you sign the release form. This is a very big trap you should never fall for, even if you have liked the drive at-fault with every fiber of your body due to their kindness and generous gesture.
You should never agree to append your signature to any form until you have a good understanding of the extent of the damage and until you are also checked up in the hospital, even if you don’t have any signs of injuries. The moment you sign the release form, the at-fault driver is immediately taken off the hook, and you will have to deal with every aftermath of the accident. Just don’t be in a hurry to get everything settled on the spot.
Making assumptions about certain items on your insurance
It is never right to make assumptions about what is covered and what is not covered by your insurance. For example, it is common to find many insurance companies covering damages caused by rental cars, but the specifics of what is actually covered will vary from one company to another. Before you leave with a rental car at a cost of $150 per day, be sure to know exactly what is included in the cover. The same should also be the case for every expense incurred in an accident. Ensure that you know which costs will be reimbursed and which ones you will have to pay from your pocket.
Being in a hurry to settle
When you are negotiating with the at fault’s driver insurance companies, you will be treated to disgusting lowball offers to take care of the damages. Most of the times, whatever the insurance companies are offering will never be sufficient to take care of all the damages occasioned on your car. Before you let it go, ask for specifics and let them give an explanation on the offer they have just made. Never be in a hurry to accept an early settlement unless you have a very good understanding of your financial responsibility under the circumstances.
Not using the services of an injury attorney
When you get involved in an accident, it is imperative to seek the services of a personal injury attorney to fight for you if you are not in a position to work effectively after the accident. In case you require injuries that may be costly in terms of time and finances in the long run, an injury attorney will ensure you have the right legal representation and that at the end of it all, you are adequately compensated for all the accident. They will also be instrumental should you decide to seek pre-settlement loans for some financial reprieve as you recover.