7 Things You Must Avoid After an Accident

Accidents can happen in an instant, leaving you shocked, confused, and unsure of what to do next. In the aftermath of an accident, whether it’s a car crash, slip and fall, or any other type of personal injury incident, it’s crucial to take the proper steps to protect your health, well-being, and legal rights. However, many accident victims make common mistakes that can jeopardize their recovery and their ability to seek fair compensation for their injuries.

Leaving the Scene

After an accident, you may feel tempted to leave the scene, especially if the damage seems minor or you’re in a hurry. However, leaving the scene of an accident can result in serious legal consequences, including criminal charges. Always stop your vehicle, check on the safety of everyone involved, and wait for law enforcement to arrive. If you must move your car for safety reasons, take photos of the accident scene first.

Waiting to Call the Police

Even if the accident appears minor, always call the police to report it. A police report is an official accident record and is an integral part of your personal injury claim. When the police arrive, provide them with an honest account of what happened, but avoid admitting you were at fault or apologizing, as this can be used against you later.

Neglecting Medical Attention

Adrenaline and shock can cover up the symptoms of injuries after an accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not appear immediately. Neglecting to seek medical attention can not only jeopardize your health but also harm your personal injury claim. If you feel any pain, discomfort, or emotional distress after the accident, visit a doctor or hospital right away. Follow your doctor’s advice and attend all follow-up appointments.

Admitting Fault

After an accident, you may feel the need to apologize or admit fault, even if you’re not entirely sure what happened. However, admitting fault can significantly harm your ability to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Instead, limit your communication with the other driver to exchanging essential information, such as contact and insurance details. Let the police and insurance companies investigate the accident and determine fault.

Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company

After an accident, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and request a recorded statement. While it may seem harmless to provide them with information, it’s crucial to remember that insurance companies are not on your side. They may use your words against you to minimize or deny your claim. It’s important to decline to give a recorded statement and instead refer the insurance company to your personal injury attorney.

Accepting a Quick Settlement Offer

Insurance companies often try to settle personal injury claims quickly and for the lowest amount possible. They may offer you a settlement soon after the accident before you can fully assess your injuries and damages. While it may be tempting to accept a quick payout, doing so can prevent you from receiving the total compensation you deserve. Always consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement offer.

Neglecting Your Legal Rights

Navigating the legal system after an accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries and emotional trauma. However, neglecting your legal rights can result in losing the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Consider consulting a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman

At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, we understand the challenges personal injury victims face after an accident. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys dedicate themselves to helping our clients obtain the compensation they need to move forward. If an accident in North Mississippi has left you or a loved one with injuries, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We’re here to listen to your story, answer your questions, and fight for your rights throughout the entire process.

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.