Car accidents can be stressful life events, no matter how severe the injuries. While there are a lot of folks online who will tell you all the things you ought to do after a car accident, when you’re actually going through the pain, stress, and headaches of a recent car crash, it might be easier to just remember three easy rules for what not to do after a car wreck.
#1: Don’t Speak to Insurance People
It may seem a little counterintuitive to say ‘don’t speak to the insurance company,’ right after a car accident. After all, how else will you get your car fixed or medical bills paid? The fact is, you want to deal with the insurance company, but you want to do so through an experienced Anderson car accident attorney. Insurance adjusters are not your friend. Their primary role as an insurance adjuster is to make sure you do not get paid, or at least to pay you as little as possible. So, don’t waste your time and risk saying something that could cost you money. Let your lawyer talk to the adjuster for you.
#2: Don’t Sign Anything
Again, insurance adjusters will try to email you, fax you, or even come out to your house to get you to sign important documents. Most of the time, they will be trying to get you to sign documents that are designed to do one of three things: (1) give up your right to sue for your injuries, (2) give unfettered access to your entire medical history, or (3) get you to accept blame for the accident. Learn more about how insurance companies try to trick you into “releasing” them before you even know how badly you are hurt.
It’s quite possible that in some situations the insurance company may actually be doing the right thing and quickly trying to get you compensated. If so, your attorney will be able to review the terms of any contract or release to let you know if indeed this is what is going on. If so, then you’ve lost nothing by speaking to an attorney. But if the document is not what it seems, you’ll be glad you got help before signing it.
#3: Don’t Talk About the Crash on Social Media
There is no doubt that social media can be toxic to a personal injury case. Just a single photo taken out of context can be the undoing of an otherwise excellent case. Take, for instance, the case of an employment dispute in Florida where a teenager posted a two-sentence remark on Facebook after her parents reached a settlement. Her simple comment ended up costing her parents over $80,000.
Working With an Attorney from the Start of Your Case
The earlier you contact an attorney, the better. Many things can happen during the first few weeks after a car accident. Insurance companies will try to get recorded statements, adjusters will lie and demand that you sign documents that should not be signed, and witnesses may disappear. The moment you hire an experienced car accident lawyer, your attorney can get to work notifying the insurance company that you are represented. Your attorney will begin gathering evidence and tracking your medical care. Plus, you’ll have a trusted voice to call when difficult situations come up.
In the end, your chances are much better if you have an attorney from the start. If you’ve recently suffered serious injuries in a car accident, call Krause, Moorhead & Draisen, P.A. With more than 30 years of helping injured people in South Carolina, we are ready to tackle even the toughest cases for our clients.
Steven Krause is a personal injury, auto accident, and workers’ compensation lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated form the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and has been practicing law for 40 years now. Steven Krause believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.