It is normal for people to have difficulty being logical after a collision in part because of how the body responds to stressful situations. Therefore, those who get into a crash generally need to know how to protect themselves and the mistakes that others frequently make after a wreck if they don’t want to put themselves at a significant disadvantage by giving into their “fight, flight or freeze” instinct instead of following a few specific steps.
Avoiding common mistakes after a car crash can go a long way toward protecting a crash victim who is not to blame (at least, not totally) for their wreck.
Do not agree to bypass reporting rules
One of the more manipulative ways that people respond to a crash is to appeal to someone’s sense of sympathy. They might exclaim that they cannot afford an increase in their insurance rate or worry that they will lose commercial driving privileges because of a car crash in their own vehicle. They may then try to convince the other party involved in the wreck that the best option would be to settle the matter privately and not report it to authorities. Without an official police report, which is necessary by law if people get injured or there is $1,000 in property damages, it can be much more challenging to pursue compensation.
Don’t move on as though nothing happened
A surprising number of people involved in crashes that require major vehicle repairs seem to think that their bodies won’t have any major consequences from the wreck. They may not know that many injuries that people experience after a crash, including whiplash, brain injuries and internal bleeding, are not easy to identify. Especially in the moments right after a crash, someone may not yet have any major symptoms. Those that obtain a proper medical evaluation can get timely treatment and can more easily prove that the injuries came from the crash.
Don’t accept the first settlement as the best offer
Insurance companies are in business to make money, which means that they want to limit their liability after a wreck. Having someone sign a settlement agreement or cash a check generally absolves the insurance company of future obligations related to that collision. Therefore, those involved in a crash will typically want to have a rough estimate of their actual current expenses and likely future expenses to more effectively evaluate what the insurance company offers to pay them. Those who get the right help after a crash may have an easier time avoiding those mistakes that can leave some people without the financial support they require when they have injuries and lost wages caused by a crash.
Knowing and avoiding the mistakes that people frequently make after a wreck may benefit anyone who has been injured in a significant collision.