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5 Common Mistakes Made After a Car Crash

Posted December 27, 2017 | Uncategorized

You might assume that if you were in a car accident that someone else caused, you’re automatically going to be eligible for damage recovery. While this is true in most cases, sometimes injured parties can make mistakes that hurt their chances and even bar them from recovery. Don’t put your financial future at risk. Avoid these five common mistakes after a car accident in Dallas:

Fleeing the Scene of the Accident

If there is one thing you do correctly after a crash, let it be to obey Texas’ hit and run laws. Never leave the scene of any type of accident without first performing your duties as a driver. These duties depend upon the extent and circumstances of the accident. If you likely caused injury or death to another person, you must immediately stop and stay at the scene of the accident to see if the person requires medical attention.

If you only caused damage to a vehicle, you must still stop. If you strike an unattended parked vehicle, you have a duty to either locate the owner and exchange information or leave a written notice with your name and address in a conspicuous place on the vehicle. Failing to obey your duties can result in criminal penalties.

Deciding Not to Call the Police

Never agree with another driver to keep your accident “under the radar.” If the crash caused injuries, deaths, or more than $1,000 in property damage, dial 911 immediately. Failing to notify the police isn’t only against the law – it could also cause you trouble down the road. Without an official record that the crash really happened, your insurance company could accuse you of fraud or the other driver could give you false information with zero consequences. Not reporting the accident to authorities is never a good idea, regardless of who is at fault.

Admitting Fault

If you’re a polite person, you might apologize for an accident on instinct. Resist this urge and do not admit fault, say you’re sorry, or do anything the other driver could interpret as taking fault. It does not matter if you think you were at fault. Do not speculate as to blame or place blame on the other person. Simply give your side of the story to police officers and insurance companies, and let them assign fault. There is a chance the other driver or a third party, such as a roadway maintenance crew, shares fault for your accident.

Waiting to Go to the Hospital

Seek medical attention for any injuries as soon as possible. Request an ambulance on the scene if you need immediate medical care. Even if you don’t feel injured, go to the hospital to make sure. Waiting to see a doctor can make a minor injury more serious. It can also hurt your odds of a successful insurance or personal injury claim, as the defense can use it as proof that your injuries must not have been too serious or painful.

Settling an Insurance Claim on Your Own

After your accident, an insurance claims adjuster will contact you and may try to get you to settle your claim. Resist the urge to say yes to the first settlement offer you receive. It is likely much less than your claim is actually worth. Instead, contact a personal injury attorney in Dallas and discuss the true value of your car accident. You can feel confident during settlement negotiations with an attorney in your corner.