In some car accidents, it is readily apparent who is at fault. One North Carolina woman recently crashed her car into the side of a Bojangles in the Cotswold neighborhood. Nobody inside the restaurant suffered injuries, but authorities attempted to piece together what caused the driver to crash into the building.
There are key steps to take after an auto accident. If the other driver was clearly at fault, then you still need to be careful, because you do not want a simple mistake to jeopardize your claim. Here are some common errors to avoid in the immediate aftermath of a collision.
- Failure to document the damages
After a wreck, you need to take your car in to an auto technician to see how much it costs to repair. You need to keep track of every expense you make on your car. That includes what you spend on a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop. You should also keep close tabs on your medical bills. All of this will play into your claim later.
- Admission of fault
When you are still at the scene of the crash, you should avoid saying anything that could hold you liable. Even something innocuous can have disastrous consequences. For example, you would not want to say, “I did not see you coming.” A court could view this as you implying you held some responsibility for the crash.
- Acceptance of the first insurance offer
You should contact your auto insurance agency within 24 hours of the crash. A representative may reach out to you shortly after that with a settlement offer. You do not want to accept this offer without having an attorney review it first. This first offer is almost always less than you should get, because the agency wants to resolve the matter quickly. You may not know what your total expenses are at this time, so you should approach settling with caution.