Vehicle collisions can be terrifying experiences regardless of how they occurred. Relaying the situation to the insurance company accurately and sorting things out with the other driver are inevitable parts of the process, and misunderstandings exist that sometimes make the process more difficult.
Be wary of the following common car accident myths as they could result in serious legal trouble.
Myth #1: The accident was only minor so I’m not required to wait at the scene.
Anyone involved in an accident must stay at the location where the crash occurred. In fact, a misdemeanor can be given to anyone who leaves the scene, regardless of whether or not there were damages or injuries.
While you are waiting at the accident scene, there are important actions that you need to take if you’re not too injured to do so:
- Check to see if anyone has been injured.
- Call 911, even if there are no injuries. If the police don’t come and file an accident report, you’ll need to file an accident report yourself.
- Trade contact and insurance information with the other party.
- Document the scene of the collision with photos that show the conditions of the street.
- Give the police your statement without declaring fault.
- Obtain contact information for any witnesses or have them discuss what they observed with the police.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible if you need to file a claim.
Myth #2: I’m not injured, so I don’t need medical care.
Often times, injuries may not be noticeable right away. “Car accident injuries especially can take time to become apparent. Back, neck, head, and brain injuries require diagnostic tests to identify, and only time can tell the entire range of symptoms. Even if you think that you’re okay, it’s important to seek medical care immediately for diagnostic tests and a complete physical exam,” explained John Foy, car accident lawyer in Atlanta.
Sometimes, chronic conditions don’t reveal themselves much except for a minor pain or ache. Car accident injuries can become worse over time, and it won’t be possible to later obtain compensation for your injuries (regardless of the severity) if you did not obtain diagnostic medical care or treatment.
Myth #3: The insurance company will take care of my medical bills.
Unfortunately, it can be a complex process to determine who is liable for the accident. If the accident was not your fault, the other party’s insurance company may be required to cover your medical expenses. If you are liable for the accident, you’ll need to file an insurance claim and your individual policy limits will be the determining factor in whether or not expenses are covered.
Myth #4: The insurance company will require me to give a recorded statement.
Before giving a recorded statement, consult with an experienced car accident attorney to see if doing so will cause greater problems with your case. Know that insurance companies can use recorded statements to limit, postpone, or deny paying out claims.