A car crash is stressful; there’s so much to consider, so many calls to make, and it can all feel overwhelming. In all the commotion, many drivers make mistakes that can seriously impact their ability to pursue damages for their injuries and losses. That’s why every Ohio driver should know these do’s and don’t of a car crash.
Do Get a Police Report
Whether you’re in a serious wreck or a minor collision, you should make an effort to get a police report ASAP. A police officer at the scene will document the crash, collect the information of everyone involved, and collect statements from any nearby witnesses.
A police report is a simple way to start your paper trail and prove to the insurance company that you were in a crash and suffered damages as a result. For that reason, a police report is one of the first things most attorneys will ask for.
Don’t Post on Social Media
It’s tempting to post about your crash on social media, but even a simple post informing family and friends can have a significant impact on your case. Once you post about your crash on your social media accounts, you open your account to a subpoena from the insurance company, meaning they’d have access to your account and could look through all your public posts and private messages.
If, for example, your mom private messaged you and asked if you were okay and your reply indirectly suggested you aren’t as injured as you claim, the insurance company may use that message to justify a smaller settlement.
Do Go to the Doctor
When it’s time to leave the scene of the crash, go directly to your preferred doctor or urgent care. Don’t go to work and don’t continue about your day. Going to the doctor immediately after a crash gives you the best chance of identifying and treating injuries as soon as possible.
On the other hand, if you wait to see a doctor, you may miss an opportunity to proactively treat “latent injuries,” or those that don’t show symptoms until a few days after the initial incident. Additionally, if you wait more than a day or two to see your doctor, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim, even if they’re latent injuries.
Don’t Speak to the Other Driver’s Insurance
If you get a call from the other driver’s insurance company, you should try to hang up as quickly as possible. Speaking to the other driver’s insurance will only hurt your case and make it harder to obtain the damages you are entitled to.
In 99% of cases, nothing you can say to the other driver’s insurance will reduce your assigned fault in the crash or result in a higher settlement; if anything, they’ll do the opposite.
Do Report the Crash
Most insurance policies require that you report a car crash either as soon as it’s safe to do so or within 24 hours. Therefore, you should meet your obligation and simply tell your insurance company that you’ve been in a crash, either by phone or with your insurance app.
If your crash was more complex or resulted in more severe damages, you may wish to consult an attorney before reporting the accident. If you’re in this situation, call an experienced car accident attorney ASAP and see if they can fit you in for an immediate consultation.
Don’t Agree to a Recorded Statement
While reporting the crash, the insurance adjuster may ask if you’d be willing to provide a statement ‘for the record.’ You should politely refuse and try to end the conversation as quickly as possible, even if the adjuster says that you have to provide a statement or that they can’t authorize a rental until you make a statement
A recorded statement requires precise wording, and you don’t want to go in unprepared. If you say the wrong thing, your assigned fault may shift, reducing your settlement or even leaving you at fault for the crash.
Do Speak to an Attorney
After visiting the doctor, you should try to schedule a case consultation with an attorney. An experienced car accident attorney knows all the do’s and don’ts of an Ohio car crash. They can negotiate on your behalf and handle all the burdensome paperwork while you focus on getting better.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car accident, we’re ready to be the experience on your side. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Dayton car accident attorney from The Attkisson Law Firm, please send us an email or call (937) 276-9700.