Through all of our years working Wichita Falls car wrecks and other personal injury cases, we have seen many things that can turn a case into a nightmare for an injured client. If not avoided, the following things can sink an otherwise valid personal injury case.
What Not to Do so You Don't Wreck Your Wichita Falls Car Accident Case:
1. Do not leave the scene.
Most importantly, it’s a crime to leave the scene of an accident. If you’ve been in an accident, stop your vehicle and get to a safe spot.
2. Do not avoid calling 911.
Some people will assume that if no one was hurt in the accident, 911 doesn’t need to be called. That is not true. 911 should be called after any accident. The police will investigate, help establish who was at fault, and document the entire situation, which is important for handling the claim later.
3. Do not forget to exchange information.
Since accidents are handled through insurance companies, it is important that this information is collected. If you followed point number 2, the investigating officer should collect the other person’s insurance information, which will be documented on the Accident Report, but it is always a safe bet to go ahead and collect that information yourself as well.
4. Do not underestimate your injuries.
Immediately after your accident, you might feel minimal pain. However, as time passes and as the adrenaline of being in an accident wears off, you might realize that what you mistook for minor injuries are actually very serious, major ones. Because of this, it’s important to seek medical attention after an accident even if you don’t feel too affected by the accident initially.
5. Do not neglect medical treatment and do not allow there to be significant gaps in your treatment.
If you allow a lot of time to pass between treatments, the insurance companies may use this as an indicator that you aren’t that seriously injured and will try to minimize your claim.
6. Do not admit fault.
Whatever you say after an accident can be used against you. It’s best to exchange the information that is required, but to not offer any other information or apologies.
7. Do not neglect gathering evidence and documentation.
Your case depends on this. If possible, gather as much information as you can about how the accident happened and the extent to which you are hurt and your vehicle is damaged. Take pictures of the vehicles, the current road and weather conditions at the time of the accident, and your injuries. Additionally, collect contact information from witnesses and keep all receipts from out-of-pocket expenses due to the accident.
8. Do not speak to the other person’s insurance company.
We cover this in a video, but the other party’s insurance company will use anything you say against you and will often low ball you on settlements based on things you have said to them or information they have collected about you. By not speaking to them, you give them nothing other than the facts of the case as documented by the investigating officer to use against you. Additionally, by not signing any authorizations or waivers they try to get you to sign, you do not give them the ability to collect any of your information to use against you.
9. Do not neglect to speak to your own insurance company.
Unlike with the other party’s insurance company, you are obligated to communicate with your insurance company and let them know about the accident.
10. Do not try to go about handling the case on your own without first educating yourself.
You can begin by downloading our free book, The Traveler’s Guide to the Universe of Personal Injury. This book can act as a jumping off point to learn about personal injury claims and what you can expect throughout the various steps of your case.
11. If you do hire an attorney, do not be dishonest with your attorney.
It’s important to be upfront and honest so your attorney won’t be blindsided by any unexpected facts, and they can handle your case properly.
Contact a Wichita Falls Car Wreck Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been in an accident, a Wichita Falls car wreck attorney can help guide you through the process. Contact our Wichita Falls personal injury law firm at 940-569-4000 or fill out our contact form to set up a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. We will give you a free evaluation of your case, let you know if you don’t need to hire us, and give you helpful tips to maximize your personal injury claim.