Most people will become involved in a car accident at some point in their lives. According to data collected by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety in 2015, there was approximately one car crash every 3.9 minutes in the state. One person suffered an injury from a car crash approximately once every nine minutes.
There are certain things you should definitely do after a motor vehicle accident. You should exchange insurance information with the other driver and take photos of the scene. However, there are certain actions you need to avoid at all costs because they can come back to haunt you if this collision makes its way to a courtroom.
1. Refuse medical treatment
You may feel all right after a crash. The collision may not have been that severe, but all that adrenaline may make you overlook certain issues. It is always for the best to see a doctor following a collision. Some medical problems, such as complications from whiplash, will not come to light until weeks or months down the line. At that point, it will be difficult to prove to an insurance company that the injury was a direct result of the accident.
2. Provide a recorded statement
You should always contact your auto insurance provider after an accident. It is crucial to simply provide your agent with the facts. Offer your insurance information and state you were just in a crash. Do not offer anything else until you have consulted with an attorney and seen a doctor. If you tell your insurance agent that you were not hurt, then the insurance company can use that statement against you later to deny coverage.
3. Sign a release
Even if the crash was not your fault, the other driver's insurance company will probably send you medical releases for you to sign. Never sign these documents until your attorney looks at them. They may limit the other driver's liability. If an insurance agent presses you to sign, then simply state that you would like to consult with your lawyer first.