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You Should Never Do This After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be overwhelming and stressful, and it is important to be aware of the things that could jeopardize your car accident claim. “There are many ways you can inadvertently harm your case after an accident,” advises Matt Fleishman, an attorney with Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC. Here are some tips to remember if you are in a car crash in Charlotte, NC or the surrounding areas.

At the Scene 

Never leave the scene of the accident: Leaving the scene of an accident without providing your information and helping injured victims is illegal, even if the accident is minor. This can result in serious consequences, including criminal charges. The specific requirements for hit and run depend on the type of accident and the extent of the damage or injury. If the accident resulted in only property damage, you must give your name, address, and vehicle registration information to the other driver or to a police officer. If there are injuries from an accident, you are required to stop and give the same information as well as provide reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured, including calling for medical help if necessary. You do not want to make your situation worse by adding hit and run charges to the problem. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a safe location to avoid causing additional accidents. If the police are called, stay until they tell you they have all the information they need and that you are free to leave. 

Never leave without the other driver’s information: Make sure to exchange drivers license and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved. If the police are called, they will also record all of this information and provide it to all involved parties.

Never delay seeking medical attention: Even if you feel fine after the accident, it's important to get checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries may not show symptoms until hours or even days later. Often the adrenaline rush you experience right after a crash will hide injuries that you have, including concussions or whiplash. 

Never forget to document the scene: Take photos of the damage to all vehicles involved, as well as any visible injuries you or your passengers have sustained. Pictures of the road or intersection where the accident occurred and any other circumstances like poor signage or road conditions may be important when proving liability as well. You need to get witness statements if possible. The police can provide you with a copy of the report that they write based on the evidence they gather at the scene. This documentation will be crucial when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.

Never argue with the other driver(s): Emotions often run high at the scene of an accident. People want to blame others, they may be hurt and are definitely stressed about injuries, potential lost work time and wages, and property damage. Avoid getting into an argument or confrontation with the other driver(s), as this can escalate the situation and potentially result in physical harm. If you feel unsafe at the scene of an accident, you can always call 911 and stay on the line with a dispatcher until the police arrive.

Never admit fault: It can be tempting to apologize or admit fault in the heat of the moment, but it's important to avoid doing this, even if you think you may have been responsible. Admissions of fault can be used against you in court or by the insurance company, potentially decreasing the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Even if you think you caused the accident, it's possible that other factors contributed to the collision. Instead, stick to the facts and let the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault.

After the Accident

Never speak to the insurance company without legal representation: Insurance companies may try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that is less than what you deserve. They may ask you to give a recorded statement, but it is important to consult with an attorney before doing so. Statements can be taken out of context or used against you, potentially harming your case. It's best to consult with an experienced car accident law firm, like Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC, before speaking to the insurance company.  

Never post the facts of your accident on social media: Be careful about what you post on social media after the accident. Insurance companies and defense attorneys may use your social media posts against you, so avoid posting anything that could be perceived as damaging to your case. The best way to protect yourself is not to post on social media at all after an accident.

Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC is a highly experienced personal injury law firm that can help you navigate the aftermath of a car accident. They have a proven track record of successfully representing clients who have been injured in car accidents, and they can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you've been in a car accident, don't hesitate to contact Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC at 704-714-1450 for a free consultation about your case.

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