Car accidents, even minor fender benders, are often stressful for those involved. Many people are unsure of what to do after they’ve been in a car accident. Knowing what you should avoid doing after an accident can help you be prepared and protect your personal injury claim.
If You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident, You Should NOT:
1. Leave the Scene
After a car crash, it is important to never leave the scene until you have fulfilled your legal obligations. If you do leave, you may face serious penalties. In the state of New York, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage could result a traffic infraction punishable by up to $250 in fines and 15 days in jail. Always stop, exchange contact and insurance information, and ensure you have met the legal requirements before leaving the scene. If you hit a parked car, you need to make a good will effort to find the owner, leave a note with your contact information, and report the accident to the nearest police station.
It is also important to avoid apologizing after an accident. Insurance companies will do everything in their power to avoid paying what you deserve, and this includes using your words against you. If you say anything like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you,” or “I just wasn’t paying attention,” the insurance company could try to blame you for the crash and deny your insurance claim, even if an investigation proves you were not responsible.
3. Post on Social Media
Posting on social media after an accident could undermine your personal injury claim. Insurance companies will investigate social media accounts to determine evidence of fraud. They will take pictures, videos, and messages out of context to undermine your claim. It is best to stay off of social media entirely until your case is complete. If you do need to post, at least make sure the privacy settings are at the highest level. You should also tell your friends and family to avoid posting anything about you until the case is settled.
4. Fail to See a Doctor
After you’ve been in a car accident, you need to make an appointment to see your doctor. Just because you don’t feel pain doesn’t mean you are uninjured. You could have underlying injuries that may not show symptoms for hours, days, or even weeks after the initial trauma. These include brain injuries, internal organ damage, whiplash, and soft tissue injuries. By seeing a doctor after an accident, you can receive the treatment you need for underlying injuries. You can also use your medical records to prove the extent, nature, and cause of your injuries.
If you have been involved in a car accident, Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices is here to help. We believe negligent or reckless drivers must be held accountable for their actions. Call our Brooklyn car accident attorneys today at (718) 690-3132 to schedule a free initial consultation.