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What not to do after a car accident

February 8, 2010

After a car accident, what you don’t do can be just as important as what you do. Protect yourself and preserve your legal rights by heeding these 5 Car Accident Don’ts.

1. Don’t make small talk with the insurance adjuster: When speaking with an insurance adjuster, whether they’re from your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, be strictly business. Stick to the facts. Otherwise you could make an off-hand remark that the insurance adjuster may try to use against you as a reason to reject your claim.

2. Don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster: The insurance company must ask for your permission to record your statement. Politely decline to make a recorded statement. It is in your best interest to provide a written statement that you have time to carefully prepare. When you are forced to answer questions on the fly, it can be easy to become flustered and make a mistake in recounting the facts.

3. Don’t sign a medical release: While the insurance company will need medical records that are pertinent to the injuries you suffered in the accident, they will often ask you to sign a general medical release that would give them access to your entire medical history. You have the right to protect your privacy and to agree only to release medical documents that are relevant to your claim.

4. Don’t apologize: Never say you’re sorry or admit fault at the scene of a car accident. These statements can be used against you when liability for the accident is being determined.

5. Don’t assume the damage to your car is minor or insignificant: After a car accident, a driver may see only a few small scratches on their vehicle and come to the conclusion that they don’t need to bother with obtaining the other driver’s insurance information. Be aware that structural damage to your vehicle may not be readily visible, so you should always operate under the assumption that you are going to file a claim.

If you have been injured in a car accident, one of the biggest Do’s is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your personal injury attorney will help you take the proper steps to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.


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