When you call a Los Angeles car accident lawyer after a car crash, he or she will tell you what you should do after the collision to recover damages. But you would be better off focusing on what you should not do after a car accident, as there are many common mistakes that can jeopardize your personal injury claim and leave you with no compensation whatsoever.
In theory, if another party is at-fault for causing the car crash, his or her insurance company will have to provide coverage for your personal injury claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies in California could not care less about that “theory,” which is why they are always trying to pay out as little as possible or deny coverage altogether.
More often than not, only an experienced car accident lawyer Los Angeles can protect your rights and ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your damages and injuries.
The lack of knowledge about how insurance companies in California fool victims of car accidents make you more likely to make one or two mistakes that can jeopardize your personal injury claim. To prevent this from happening, we invited our Los Angeles car crash attorney from Compass Law Group, P.C.
If you have just been in a car accident, these are the things you should not do to ensure that your personal injury claim is handled fairly and properly:
- Apologizing at the scene. If you have gotten into a car crash, forget the phrase “I’m sorry” for the next few weeks or months until your personal injury claim is settled (or, at least, avoid saying “I’m sorry” when speaking to the at-fault party, his/her insurance company, police officers, and witnesses). Apologizing at the scene of a car crash will automatically make you look guilty in the eyes of the at-fault party, witnesses, police officers, and others. After all, when you decide to file a personal injury claim, your apology at the scene can be cited as an admission of fault to minimize or deny your claim.
- Refusing medical attention. Never should you ever refuse medical care immediately after a car accident – even if you feel completely fine. After all, the rush of adrenaline in your blood can disguise the symptoms and delay their manifestation. When these symptoms finally manifest themselves and you decide to seek medical attention, it could be too late, because insurance companies might question the severity of your injury (“he/she declined medical care at the scene, so it cannot be that serious, right?”).
- Not collecting evidence at the scene. When we say collecting evidence, we mean gathering contact information, writing down driver’s and insurance information, taking photos and videos, and talking to witnesses, among other things. Obviously, if you have been injured, you will most likely be unable to do all these things, which is why contacting a car accident attorney in Los Angeles immediately after the crash is so important.
- Not calling the police. Many people in California make this mistake over and over again. They think that if the accident is not “major,” it makes no sense to report it to the cops. Under California law, you must report a car accident involving an injury or death within 24 hours of the crash. Just because you and the other party seem “fine” after the crash, it does not necessarily mean that neither you nor the other party was actually injured. Keep in mind that adrenaline can delay the manifestation of symptoms.
- Not contacting a Los Angeles car accident lawyer. Your attorney is your best chance to seek a fair compensation after a car crash, because only an experienced lawyer is able to properly evaluate your damages and negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies.
These are the mistakes that can jeopardize your personal injury claim after a car accident in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California. Get a free consultation from our lawyers at Compass Law Group, P.C., to find out about other mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.