Avoid These Common Mistakes After a MN Car Crash
Car accidents can be unsettling experiences. It’s hard to think at that moment, let alone process everything happening around you and what you should and should not do. That’s why people tend to make mistakes after a car accident.
In Minnesota, there are roughly 10,000 car accidents every year. This means it’s a pretty common occurrence. Knowing what you should and shouldn’t do before you ever get into a crash can help you to act on instinct and avoid the most common mistakes.
Here are some typical mistakes people make after a car accident in Minnesota and some steps you should take instead.
Mistake No. 1: You Admit It Was Your Fault
Whether it was your fault or not, never say it. Don’t tell the police it was your fault, and never tell the other driver that.
Be honest about the facts of the accident with police when they’re gathering information for their report, but don’t apologize or admit fault. Why? Because this admission can be used against you later if the other party files a lawsuit.
Mistake No. 2: You Don’t Call Police
Speaking of the police, make sure they’re at the scene. No matter how small the accident, you want to call the police to investigate the scene and create an accident report for you that:
1) documents their impression of the scene, and
2) details the basic information surrounding the accident.
The police report will include the time, location, dates, and names of involved parties, as well as insurance contacts and information. When the police come to the scene, stay calm and clearly explain what happened to the best of your ability, providing as many details as possible. If you got hurt, the officer can assist you with emergency medical attention.
Mistake No. 3: Forgetting to Document
These days, almost everyone has a smartphone. Put it to good use for you when a car accident happens by taking pictures of the accident scene for documentation. This helps to preserve evidence and support the narrative of what took place when the accident occurred.
Take pictures of every car involved from different angles, as well as the surrounding areas. Take as many pictures as possible to help you later if the circumstances of the crash ever come into question.
Mistake No. 4: Not Getting Checked Out by a Medical Professional
If you get hurt in the accident, it’s vital to get medical care as soon as possible. Many people who do not think they were hurt don’t get checked out, but this is a mistake. Whether you believe you are injured or not, you should get medical attention.
Why? Because some injuries – such as whiplash – may not be apparent immediately. Plus, the adrenaline your body pumps out after an accident may keep you from feeling damage done.
When you see a medical professional after the crash, keep all of your documentation and create a record for yourself. You may need it for legal action down the road.
Mistake No. 5: Not Contacting a Lawyer
When you’re in a car accident, you need the right team behind you to get you the compensation you deserve. Attorneys specializing in personal injury law can help you understand if you have a case to sue the at-fault driver for damages – both to your person and your property.
An insurance company will attempt to settle with you, but if you have a lawyer working for you, they will ensure you get the best settlement and that your claim gets handled correctly. Bottom line? It’s an advantage to have an attorney on your side.
Understanding what to do after a car accident can help to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation. Remember, taking these steps can help you protect yourself and your case – because you never know what can happen further down the road after a car accident that had you wishing you would have taken different actions immediately after. Instead of learning that lesson the hard way, commit to memory now these steps so you can put them to good use the next time you have a car accident. You’ll be glad you did.
About the Author:
A lifelong Minnesotan, founding partner Ronald R. Envall has spent his entire legal career fighting for the little guy, focusing on workers’ compensation, Social Security, and personal injury cases. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a Top Rated attorney in Duluth, placing him in the top 5 percent of all workers comp lawyers across the state. In his free time, Mr. Envall serves on the boards of several area government and nonprofit organizations and is a member of the Minnesota Association for Justice, which supports consumer rights.