No one gets into their car in the morning and expects to get in an accident. If they did, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t be driving. However, most people experience at least one car wreck in their lifetime. According to car insurance estimates, the average driver files a car accident claim once every 17.9 years. If you tend to speed or drive recklessly, it could be much sooner.
Since it’s probably been some time since your last fender bender, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what you should – and shouldn’t – do after a car wreck. It can be challenging to think clearly in the aftermath of an accident, and the wrong mistake could cost you dearly.
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make after car accidents that you should avoid:
1. Not calling the police to the scene
After an accident, many motorists think that they don’t have to get law enforcement involved if the damage is minor or no one is hurt. However, a police report can serve as proof of evidence that the collision occurred. The other driver and their insurance company will have a more challenging time denying your claim when there is an official police record of the incident.
2. Admitting fault
After the initial shock of an accident, you might think the polite thing to do is apologize to the other driver for the accident. However, even if you believe you are at fault, you should never admit it until you and your insurance company have all the facts. Admitting fault is essentially taking financial responsibility for the accident. While you shouldn’t lie on your claim, don’t share more than necessary and let the insurance company conduct their investigation.
3. Denying a medical evaluation
Drivers should also avoid saying whether or not they feel okay after a car accident. Even if you feel fine, saying so could cause problems later if you find out you aren’t. In many cases, car accidents victims may not even feel pain until hours or sometimes days later. Seeking out a medical evaluation is a good idea after a car accident to ensure you get the proper compensation.
It’s all too easy to forget what steps to take following the surprise of a car accident. By familiarizing yourself with these common mistakes, you can ensure the accident claims process goes as smoothly and fairly as possible.