The actions you take immediately after an auto accident can play a crucial role in determining who’s at fault and who will be liable for the compensation. If you are a victim, what you do in the event of a car crash determine your financial recovery. And a few missteps could jeopardize your claim. If the accident happened in New Jersey, call an accident lawyer in NJ to guide you on how to protect yourself immediately.
Calling a car accident lawyer in NJ is vital because you will face several decisions that involve law enforcement, insurance companies, car repairs, accident reports, and medical treatment. Unfortunately, while trying to come to terms with everything, many victims make mistakes that prove challenging to file a claim. Here are the six common mistakes accident victims make and how to avoid them.
1. Not Seeking Medical Attention
You should seek medical attention even if the pain or injuries are not evident right away. Some injuries take time to develop, and others may exist but not obvious to you. That said, seeking medical care is the surest way to ensure your health and safety are in top conditions before proceeding with justice.
Failure to see a doctor puts your chances of getting compensation for the injuries at risk. Insurance adjusters or at-fault parties may interpret it as negligence on your part. As a result, it could limit the amount of compensation you can receive. Consider the medical evaluation report a crucial piece of evidence that describes the severity of your injuries, and their primary cause.
A car accident claim is usually a question of which party is responsible for paying for the damages. One way of determining this is to go through the evidence at the accident scene. The process may involve evaluating statements made by the drivers and witnesses. Anything you say could be used against you. For that reason, you should never apologize after an auto accident.
An apology in the event of an accident means that you are responsible for the incident of the crash. If a police report notes the apology, the insurer will use it against you. A simple word such as ‘sorry’ can open the way for the insurance adjuster to assign you some liability for the auto accident.
3. Not Calling the Police
You must call the police as quickly as possible after an accident regardless of how minor the damage seems. In the state of New Jersey, you are legally required to call the police after an auto accident. The police will write a report that contains vital information that can help you in the future when filing a claim.
If there’s no police report, you or an accident lawyer in NJ will not prove that indeed an accident occurred. Also, insurance adjusters always ask the victims to provide a copy of a police report before settling. The report can help your case in many ways, including strengthening your negotiations, validating your version of events, and providing details your lawyer can use to track down more evidence.
4. Not Gathering Evidence
After an auto accident, the police always file a report for their reference. It is also important that you collect your information. It should include:
- The other driver’s name, contact information, and license number
- Witness statements, their names, and contact information
- Detailed photographs of the accident site
- Accident reports from the police
- Medical reports from first responders or your doctor
- Surveillance footage, if available
Gathering evidence that shows the other driver’s fault is pivotal in the quest for justice. This evidence will help your NJ accident lawyer to have an easy time when representing your case.
5. Not Contacting a Lawyer
Contacting an accident lawyer in NJ should perhaps be the first step to take after a car crash. That should be the case if the accident involves a truck. Trucking companies and their respective insurers are adequately prepared to handle any case where a truck driver is at fault.
More companies take advantage of your limited knowledge about automobile accident laws to reduce your compensation or avoid liability. Thus, you should call an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process and determine which party is at fault and liable for the losses and injuries suffered. Also, avoid any temptations by insurance adjusters to not involve your lawyer.
6. Providing A Recorded Statement
Insurance adjusters tend to ask victims of auto accidents to provide a statement. The information you provide will be your official accident statement. Anything you say will be used by the insurer against you. Thus, ensure it is accurate.
It’s not a good idea to record any information if you do not have any guidance from your accident lawyer in NJ about what to say and not say. Anything you mention during the entire process of recording the statement can be taken out of context. The other parties may use it to show you were at fault. Take time to draft a well-prepared statement so that the insurer cannot use it against you.
The steps you take after an auto accident can have a significant impact on your ability to get compensation or a settlement for any losses or injuries. If you have suffered an injury, seek medical attention immediately. You should call the police and collect information about the accident. Before recording any statements with an insurance adjuster, call an accident lawyer in NJ to guide you on how to protect yourself. Need legal representation after an accident? Call us at 908-232-7666.