Do’s and Don’ts Following a Car Wreck
Each year, vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans. The medical bills related to a serious injury wreck often exceed $100,000. Additionally, car crash injuries cause significant physical and emotional pain and suffering. Injured victims deserve compensation for all these losses. Unfortunately, as outlined below, many people unintentionally hurt their claims in the immediate wake of a wreck.
A San Jose car accident attorney does more than obtain fair compensation for serious injuries. Attorneys also immediately connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance. Attorneys also arrange for immediate vehicle repair or replacement. Perhaps more importantly, legal action holds tortfeasors (negligent drivers) responsible for their driving mistakes.
California’s hit and run law is not one sided. It applies to both at-fault drivers and victims. Furthermore, this law applies in both personal injury wrecks and “fender-bender” collisions which only cause property damage.
There are some practical aspects as well. For example, if a driver does not remain at the scene, a police officer or other emergency responder cannot take the driver’s statement. As a result, the all-important police accident report might be slanted in favor of the other party.
DON’T Say “I’m Sorry”
In the everyday world, an apology usually expresses sympathy. If my spouse has a bad day at work, I often say “I’m sorry,” even though, in most cases, I had nothing to do with these work challenges.
Car crashes are different. An apology could be construed as an admission of liability. So, instead of saying “I’m sorry,” say something like “I’m sorry this happened to you.” Or, better yet, don’t say anything.
On a related note, it’s often impossible to determine legal responsibility at the scene. The lawyers must work this out later. So, many people are admitting they were wrong when they were legally in the right.
DO See a Doctor
Many people assume that if they can stagger away from a wrecked vehicle, they are probably okay. But that’s normally not true.
Many of these victims sustain head and neck injuries. But they ascribe the symptoms they feel to shock from the accident or soreness from the collision. However, an untreated brain injury could easily be fatal. And, untreated whiplash, a serious neck injury, could cause paralysis.
Some doctors make these same diagnosis errors. That’s especially true if they are general practice physicians and not car accident specialists. So, victims should not just see any doctor. They should see a doctor who can properly diagnose and treat their injuries.
DON’T Talk to the Other Insurance Company
Somehow, we got the idea that we must give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company ASAP after a crash. That’s simply not true. There is no such legal obligation.
Furthermore, insurance company telephone adjusters know how to extract damaging information from victims without their knowing it. That’s especially true since many victims sustain head injuries and are therefore not thinking clearly.
Let your lawyer talk to the insurance company. These adjusters can wait a couple of days to close their files.
Reach Out to a Hard-Working Attorney
Knowing what to do after a crash is the first step towards fair compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Jose, contact Solution Now Law Firm. You have a limited amount of time to act.