While most of us in Toledo have been in at least one car accident in our lives, you are less likely to have been injured in a serious wreck. Until it happens to you, there is no way to predict how you will react. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake that could harm your chances of getting rightfully compensated for your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and other losses.
If you are ever severely injured in a crash caused by somebody else, try to avoid making these common mistakes:
Not calling the police
Ohio law does not require you to report a car accident to the police in every situation. But it is probably in your best interest to do so, unless the collision was very minor and you are certain nobody was hurt. A police report can be one of the most valuable pieces of evidence in a personal injury claim.
Declining medical attention
Even if you don’t have any clear injuries like a concussion or broken bones, you should still get examined by a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. For one thing, some accident-related injuries are not immediately obvious, but can still be serious. Also, having a doctor’s note in your medical record that your injuries occurred in the wreck can make it much more difficult for the other driver’s insurance company to deny your claim.
Apologizing or admitting fault
If you believe you caused the crash, it is natural to want to apologize to the other driver or admit you were at fault. But you might not know the whole story. The other driver may be more liable than you. Saying “I’m sorry” at the scene can only damage your case if you pursue a claim later.
Assuming you are well enough, you should not forget to gather as much evidence as you can from the accident scene. Get contact and insurance information from all the other motorists involved, as well as contact info from any witnesses. Take photos of the scene, and write down what you remember about the crash as soon as you can.
Posting on social media
In general, it can be wise to hold off on posting on social media until your claim is resolved. Insurance company investigators may be looking through your posts for evidence that you are exaggerating or making up your injuries. A seemingly innocent post, photo or video may be twisted against you. Similarly, avoid the temptation to share details of what happened. Keep those between your lawyer and yourself.
Going through the financial recovery process alone
Insurance companies spend a lot of money on claims adjusters and attorneys to keep their payouts to a minimum. Hiring a personal injury attorney to investigate your accident and negotiate on your behalf helps level the playing field. Most personal injury lawyers in Toledo work on a contingency basis. That means the client pays no legal fees until the case has been successfully resolved.