Things to avoid doing if you’ve been in a car wreck
A car wreck can be an overwhelming experience. It is important to know what not to do after a crash. You don’t want to do anything that could inadvertently hurt your chances of recovering damages for your injuries. Here are some things you should not do:
- DO NOT leave the scene. Georgia law requires that any vehicle in a collision resulting in injury, death, or damage to a vehicle is required to stop and remain at the scene.
- DO NOT comment on what happened. Do not discuss or argue with the other driver about who is at fault. Do not apologize or admit anything that could have contributed to the crash. You may be suffering from shock and excitement which make it difficult to think clearly at the time. Let the police deal with the other driver.
- DO NOT give out too much information. Never say that you are “fine” or “OK” or “not hurt”. The truth is that you cannot be sure until you are checked out by a doctor. Do not disclose to the other driver or his insurance carrier the amount and type of your insurance coverage, and do not reveal your Social Security number.
- DO NOT contact the other driver’s insurance carrier. You are not obligated to speak with them. It is far better to hire a personal injury attorney to handle any communication. If you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance adjuster, do not give a statement or answer any questions about the wreck, your injuries, or your treatment; it is not required. If asked to do so, just politely decline.
- DO NOT sign any forms from the other driver’s insurance carrier for the release of your medical and employment records. You have every right to deny this.
- DO NOT agree to settle with the other driver directly. Sometimes the at-fault driver will offer to pay for your damages if you don’t report the collision to the police. Do not accept the offer; call the police. There is no way to know the extent of your vehicle’s damage at this point, as there may be hidden, internal damage for which the other driver will later not want to pay. You also may not realize that you are injured or the extent of your injuries. No matter how you feel at the scene, there is a good chance that you will feel worse later. If the other driver has no insurance, a claim can be made under your policy’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage instead.
- DO NOT post any writings, messages, text, email, instant messages, or pictures on any website, including Myspace, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, concerning the wreck, your injuries, or your treatment. This information could be seen by the other driver, the insurance adjuster, and the opposing lawyer who will try to use your words to defeat or reduce your recovery.