If you were injured in a car, truck, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accident that wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver under Kansas or Missouri law.
However, it's important to know what not to do so your claim is secure.
Avoid These 7 Mistakes After a Motor Vehicle Accident
What you say and do in the hours and days after your crash has a direct impact on the strength of your claim and how much you receive in a settlement. Here's what you should know.
#1: Not Getting Medical Care
It's crucial to get immediate medical attention to protect your health and to build a strong case against the negligent driver. The symptoms of some conditions, like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage, might not be apparent right away and could escalate into a medical emergency if you wait to see a doctor.
In addition, the insurance company is much more likely to argue about the cause of your injuries and their severity when you delay medical treatment. You should be examined by a physician within 48 hours of your accident—even if you don't believe you were hurt.
#2: Not Calling the Police
If don't call 911 at the crash scene, you might lose valuable evidence to prove the other motorist’s negligence. After completing an investigation, the police officer writes a police report that provides you with helpful information such as:
- Contact information for the other driver, their insurance company, and witnesses
- Details of how the collision occurred
- Statements of drivers and witnesses
- The officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault
- Any traffic citations issued
#3: Admitting Fault
Many people make statements like “I’m sorry” or “I wish I hadn’t done that” right after an accident simply out of concern and politeness. However, these statements may be misconstrued as an admission of guilt by the insurance company. Be careful what you say to anyone about the collision.
#4: Posting on Social Media
Don't make the mistake of posting on social media sites about your accident and injuries. The insurance adjuster could search your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other accounts multiple times looking for posts they can use to pay less than you deserve or deny your claim. Even innocent posts can be misinterpreted as showing you doing activities that someone with your injuries should be able to do.
#5: Not Preserving Evidence
If you fail to start collecting evidence at the accident scene, you could lose critical information that helps you win your case. You or someone else should take photos right after the accident occurred, gather witness and driver contact information, and get copies of any surveillance video of your crash before it's erased.
#6: Accepting a Quick Settlement
Don't take the first offer from an insurer or any offer until you consult an attorney. You would most likely be accepting far less than your case deserves and could be waiving important legal rights.
#7: Not Hiring a Lawyer
One of the greatest mistakes is trying to tackle all this on your own, without legal counsel. Hiring a skilled motor vehicle accident attorney right after your accident helps you avoid mistakes, provides additional support for gathering evidence, and puts you in the power seat for settlement negotiations.
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Motor Vehicle Accident?