Most people panic after a car crash and that means they’re more likely to make mistakes. Since Ohio is a comparative negligence state where just a few percentage points of fault can mean the difference between a successful settlement and being unable to claim damages, it’s crucial that you know how to avoid the five biggest mistakes people make after a car crash. Here’s how.
Not Contacting Police
As we previously discussed, a police report is typically the first thing your attorney will ask for during your consultation. This document verifies that a crash occurred, who was involved and may include witness statements.
The combined information in the police report will help your case get off to a strong start. Without the police report, you may struggle to prove the circumstances of the case or even that it occurred at all, especially when the accident is a hit-and-run or involves an uninsured driver. Remember that if you’re unable to get a police report at the scene, you should consider going directly to the nearest police station.
Posting on Social Media
After the crash, you may be tempted to check in on social media, post a picture of the damage to your vehicle and let everyone know that you are out of immediate danger. This could be a big mistake.
Once you post on social media, you’re opening your entire account to scrutiny from the insurance companies. That means if you answered comments or sent private messages discussing the crash and your injuries, the insurance company might use that as evidence to assign fault and appraise damages.
With all the risks of posting, it’s safer to avoid mentioning the crash on social media until your case is settled.
Agreeing to a Recorded Statement
When you call the insurance company to report the crash, you may hear something like “this call may be recorded” or “would you be willing to make a statement, for the record?” If you hear these phrases or anything like them, you need to be extremely careful.
Know that anything you tell the insurance company may be used against you when determining fault and the full extent of your injuries. If you’re not extremely precise with your language, the insurance companies may use your words against you to justify a lower settlement, especially when it comes to discussing your injuries and overall well-being.
The best thing you can do is stick to the facts. Report the crash, but don’t offer any additional information. No matter what the insurance adjuster says, you do not have to provide a recorded statement until you’ve had a chance to consult your attorney.
Skipping Follow-up Appointments
It’s crucial that you go directly to the doctor’s office after the crash. Equally important is making sure you attend your follow-up appointments. If there are bumps in your healing process, attending regular appointments will help your doctor identify and treat complications before they put your overall health at risk.
Additionally, if you skip your follow-up appointments, the insurance company may argue that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim. Continue going to the doctor until your injuries are healed and your doctor does not require additional follow-ups. If you’re worried about affording healthcare, you should talk to your attorney about establishing continued care.
Speaking to the Other Driver’s Insurance
If you get a call from the other driver’s insurance company, you should end the call as quickly as possible. Talking to the insurance companies is always difficult, but the other driver’s company may be calling to use your words against you, question your injuries, or otherwise put you in a difficult position.
About 99% of the time, talking to the other driver’s insurance will only hurt your case. Instead, you should consult an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to negotiate with the insurance companies and is prepared to take your case as far as it needs to go to earn you the damages you need to move forward.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car crash and have questions about Ohio insurance, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Columbus car accident lawyer from Ross, Midian & Breitmayer, LLC, please don’t hesitate to call (614) 450-2223 or send us an email.