If you’re ever injured in a car accident in Utah or elsewhere in the country, you’ll find that dealing with the aftermath can be rather stressful. Feeling overwhelmed is normal given that crashes often cause both physical and emotional trauma, but managing the situation is crucial to the success of your personal injury claim.
Doing the wrong thing after a car accident could hinder your chances at obtaining compensation from the responsible party. To keep from making a bad situation worse, Utah car accident lawyers recommend that you don’t do any of the following.
Don’t Leave the Scene
Leaving the spot where the car accident occurred could mean facing criminal charges. The incident may be viewed as a hit-and-run, and failing to stop makes you look guilty. The police might issue a warrant for your arrest – but whether or not that happens, by leaving the scene you will have compromised your personal injury claim.
Don’t Skip Calling 911
Some people in Utah mistakenly think that calling 911 after a car accident is unnecessary if no one is hurt. This isn’t the case – regardless of how serious, a crash must be reported to a local law enforcement agency. Besides, without a police report, you may have difficulty establishing fault for the incident in a personal injury claim.
Don’t Shrug Off Injuries
Whether or not you have serious injuries, consider visiting an urgent care center. You may be tempted to skip this step if you feel fine, but not all car accident injuries are immediately apparent – and left untreated, some injuries can worsen. With your health on the line, it’s a good idea to get a medical assessment as soon as possible.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
After a car accident, emotions tend to run high. You might be upset with the other parties involved, but refrain from expressing any anger toward anyone. Doing so could result in more trouble, as heated words often lead to physical altercations. And if you get into a fist fight, winning a personal injury case may prove to be more difficult.
Don’t Admit Fault
For many people, apologizing after a car accident is instinctual. Saying you’re sorry may be a knee-jerk reaction to the situation, not an admission of fault, but that’s not how your words will be interpreted. Anything you say can be used against you, affecting your ability to obtain compensation for your losses through a Utah personal injury claim.
Don’t Forget Evidence
Failing to gather as much information as you can while you’re still at the accident scene could affect the outcome of your personal injury case. Evidence will be crucial to getting the financial compensation you deserve, so take photos, get contact information for any witnesses and document the weather and traffic conditions at the time of the crash.
Don’t Post on Social Media
Lawyers and investigators who work for insurance companies look for ways to make accident victims seem less credible, including searching for incriminating social media posts. Personal injury attorneys say to steer clear of social media until a case is resolved, as even posts that are unrelated to a car accident could be used against you.
Don’t Discuss Your Case
You will need to call your insurance company to report the car accident, as failing to do so could give them grounds to deny your personal injury claim. But, don’t go into detail about the crash – just provide the necessary information. And to be on the safe side, don’t discuss the matter with anyone except your personal injury attorney.
Don’t Make a Recorded Statement
An adjuster from the other party’s insurance company may ask you to record a statement describing how the car accident occurred, then use whatever you say as a basis for devaluing or denying your personal injury claim. There’s no federal or Utah state law requiring you to give a statement, so don’t feel compelled to provide one.
Don’t Go Without Legal Guidance
Insurance companies employ teams of lawyers, which gives them a definite edge. Going without a personal injury lawyer is arguably one of the biggest mistakes you could make after a car accident, as it puts you at the mercy of people who are paid to make sure you obtain the minimum – or nothing at all – in compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with William R. Rawlings & Associates
The legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates has specialized in protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 35 years. If a Utah car accident leaves you with serious injuries, we’ll be here to help you fight the insurance companies. You can count on our personal injury attorneys to make every effort to obtain every dollar you deserve.
William R. Rawlings & Associates offers full-service legal representation to those who have suffered harm as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Our attorneys have the skill, knowledge and expertise to maximize compensation — and if we don’t win your personal injury claim, you won’t have to pay us a dime in legal fees.