I Know What to Do After an Accident in Massachusetts, But What Should I Not Do?
Car accidents can be frightening, no matter the extent or severity of the injuries or property damage involved. Due to the shock you get after the collision, it’s easy to get confused and do things you shouldn’t and not do what you should do.
While it may be easy to know what to do following an accident, most motorists lack information about what not to do, which is equally important. Skilled Boston personal injury attorneys provide an overview of missteps to avoid to help preserve your rights. You don’t want to do anything that could damage your legal case and the right to pursue compensation.
Don’t Leave the Accident Scene
It’s a criminal offense to leave an accident scene under Massachusetts law, and it could make you criminally liable for the damages. The other driver could claim that you were at fault for the accident, so you fled the accident to escape liability. It can be challenging to prove your innocence later.
Even if the accident was minor, ensure you stop and do what is necessary. Stopping after an accident lets you collect relevant information that may help your Boston car accident lawyers build a solid case to pursue compensation for any injuries or vehicle damage.
Don’t Fail to Call the Police
People often make the mistake of not calling the police after an accident. The other driver may try to convince you to keep the police out of it, especially if they were at fault. Agreeing to this arrangement may only complicate your case much later. What if the other driver provides false information or they have no valid auto insurance?
Even if you think the accident is minor, it’s crucial to ensure you have an official police report documenting all the events leading to, during, and after the accident. Car accident attorneys in Boston say that the information plays a crucial role as evidence in your insurance claim or lawsuit.
Don’t Leave the Scene Without Evidence
Collecting all the evidence you can at the accident scene is one of the most important things you can do after an accident. Use your smartphone to take as many photos of the accident scene as possible, ensuring you capture the damage and injuries from various angles. Record videos of the surrounding environment if possible.
These images and videos can provide more details into what may have caused the accident and how it happened. Write down the points you remember about the accident, including the weather and road conditions. Don’t expect to remember everything once you leave the scene, so put it down while still at the scene if you can.
Don’t Admit Fault
Avoid admitting fault even if you think you could be at fault for the accident. Boston car accident attorneys recommend keeping your discussion with the other driver or the police at a minimum to avoid saying something that could later be used against you.
It’s best to keep your statements factual and neutral. Avoid apologizing for anything, as that could be construed as an admission of guilt. Avoid posting the accident or your recovery progress on social media. While your social media post may seem harmless, the insurance companies involved may collect information to use against you from the posts and comments.
Don’t Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If the other driver’s insurance adjuster attempts to contact you, decline to talk to them and don’t give details about the accident. Insurance adjusters aim to talk you into admitting fault so that they can avoid paying compensation or minimize the payout. Avoid giving more details beyond acknowledging they have your correct contact information.
Don’t Accept the First Settlement Offer
In addition to talking you into admitting fault, insurance adjusters may also try to shortchange you by offering a low initial settlement offer. If you accept it, you sign away your right to any other compensation. While accepting this initial amount may be tempting, it may only be a small fraction of the amount your case deserves. Consult car accident attorneys in Boston before taking the offer.
Don’t Ignore the Need for Medical Attention
How quickly you get medical help is a factor insurance companies consider in evaluating how badly you were injured in the accident. If you delay getting medical attention, insurance adjusters may argue that you didn’t sustain any injuries or may not be as severely injured as you claim. That can be a basis for denying your compensation claim.
Besides, you may sustain injuries that are not immediately apparent after the accident. Not getting a medical assessment may worsen the injuries, leading to life-long complications that you may take a long time to recover from, some leading to permanent disability.
Don’t Represent Yourself When Filing a Claim
Personal injury cases are complex, and navigating the laws can be difficult without proper legal guidance. Experienced personal injury lawyers in Boston can fight to maximize your compensation under the law. A Boston car accident lawyer can prevent you from making mistakes that may further complicate the case.
An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Helping You Avoid Car Accident Mistake
If you ever get into an accident, knowing what to do and what not to do can make all the difference in your personal injury claim. You stand a higher chance of achieving the most favorable outcome if you avoid the mistakes above, which many unknowingly commit. Seeking legal assistance from a knowledgeable legal expert can also strengthen your case.
Joel H. Schwartz P.C. is a personal injury law firm that provides skilled legal representation to victims who suffer injuries due to the negligence of others. Our personal injury attorney in Boston can handle the hard work of dealing with insurance companies as you focus on healing and recovery. Call us at 508-625-9161 to schedule a FREE case assessment.