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What Not to Do: Common Accident Mistakes

Posted on 01/22/24 by admin in Auto Accidents,Biker Accidents,Pedestrian Accidents,Personal Injury,Premises Liability

We often speak about the best steps to take in the aftermath of an accident. We communicate these suggestions to you to ensure that if you do find yourself involved in an accident, you’ll know what steps to take in order to give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome. But what if you haven’t heard these tips? What if you forget about them? What if you choose to ignore them? Today’s blog post will cover what not to do in the aftermath of your accident. We hope that explaining these common accident mistakes will provide vital context for why certain steps are necessary, even if you have no desire to pursue damages.

common accident mistakes

Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident

While other post-accident mistakes we’ll cover may limit your ability to pursue compensation, leaving the scene of your accident prematurely may actually be a crime. If you’ve been involved in a car crash or other vehicular accident, leaving the scene before checking on any other individuals involved may result in a hit and run charge. If the accident results in injury or death in Maryland or Virginia, a hit and run would be considered a felony. Additionally, the offense will rise to the level of a felony in Virginia if the accident results in over $1000 worth of damages.

Mistakes At the Scene

Many of the most common accident mistakes occur in the immediate aftermath. This is understandable, as an accident may leave you disoriented, in pain, or otherwise incapacitated. But if you have your wits about you, avoiding these mistakes as much as possible will save you headaches in the long run.

Failing to Collect Information

Most of us understand that exchanging insurance information with any other driver, cyclist, or pedestrian involved in an accident is an essential step. Failure to collect their insurance policy number may seriously limit your chances of recovery. But this is not the only useful piece of personal information you should collect. Other relevant facts include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact Information
  • License Plate and Driver’s License Information

common accident mistakes

Disturbing the Evidence

Under no circumstances should you moving any vehicle or object involved in the accident without first documenting the scene with photographic or video evidence. Failure to do so may make it difficult to reconstruct the accident and determine the objective truth of what occurred.

Failing to Contact the Police

This is one error which may be understandable on purely emotional terms. After the trauma of an accident, you may fear judgement by law enforcement. You may harbor some suspicion that you’ll be fined or charged with a crime. But consider the situation logically; if you plan to seek compensation for injuries or damaged property, you’ll need to establish the facts of the incident first. Calling the police, and helping the responding officers generate a police report, will provide an objective basis for your case, crafted a neutral third party. The police report will then enter the public record, where it can be consulted by your attorney. Without this report, your accident may become a case of “he said, she said.” This may severely limit your chances of recovery.

Mistakes After Leaving the Scene

Once you’ve left the scene of your accident and begun the insurance claims process, there are still common accident mistakes you ought to be wary of. Let’s recount some of them in brief.

  • Neglecting Your Injuries – Even if you suspect your accident has resulted in little more than minor bumps and bruises, you should still plan to see a doctor ASAP. Just as with a police report, a medical professional’s diagnosis will provide an authoritative record of your circumstances. This will make the insurance claims process smoother, as well as helping any personal injury litigation you may wish to pursue.
  • Admitting Fault – It’s natural to want to apologize after inconveniencing and potentially injuring another person by accident. But admitting fault for the accident may severely hamstring your ability to recover damages.
  • Failure to Report – Don’t delay making a report to your insurance company after the accident. Failure to report in a timely manner may give your insurance adjuster grounds to deny your claim.

common accident mistakes

How Malloy Law Can Help

Many of these common mistakes can be alleviated by retaining a personal injury attorney whose judgement and knowledge you can rely on. Malloy Law helps hundreds of people just like you navigate the aftermath of their accidents. With a strong focus on client-first personal injury litigation; our experienced team can win your case. Whether it’s a car accident, slip and fall injury, or even a workplace accident; Malloy Law can craft a winning strategy to secure maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today and let’s win your case.