Car accidents are an unfortunate part of life, and they can occur to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. In the bustling city of Los Angeles, where the streets are often crowded and traffic-congested, car accidents are all too common. When you find yourself in such a situation, it’s crucial to know what to do and what not to do.
Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of after a car accident in Los Angeles.
1. Disregarding Your Injuries
One of the most common errors people make after a car accident is disregarding their injuries. Many people think it is “normal” to feel sore, stiff, or disoriented after a car wreck. While you might disregard such sensations, they could be the signs of a serious injury. For example, soreness or restricted motion can be a sign of a soft tissue sprain or strain.
Similarly, disorientation, confusion, or fogginess following a crash is often assumed to be stress-related. However, it might be a symptom of a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Misjudging how severe your injuries are is a common mistake people make after an accident. It’s also a very serious one.
2. Neglecting to Report the Accident
Another common error is neglecting to report the accident. California drivers must follow certain laws if they are involved in a car accident. If the car accident resulted in an injury or a death, the driver or their representative must make a police report or a report with the California Highway Patrol within 24 hours of the accident occurring.
3. Leaving the Scene of the Accident
Leaving the scene of a wreck is not only a mistake, but it’s also illegal. It’s a criminal offense to leave the scene of an accident in which someone is injured unless you need to go for help. Otherwise, you’re required to remain at the scene until a police officer tells you that you may leave.
4. Refusing Medical Treatment
Refusing medical treatment is another common error. Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, it’s important to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be apparent right away and could become more serious if left untreated.
5. Confessing Fault
Never admit fault at the scene of the accident. California is an “at-fault” state for car insurance. This means that when there’s an accident, the driver who caused the accident is liable for damages. However, determining who is at fault is not always straightforward and should be left to the insurance companies and law enforcement officials.
6. Failing to Collect Evidence
Failing to collect evidence at the scene of the accident is another error that can jeopardize your claim. This includes taking photographs of the scene, noting the weather and road conditions, and getting the contact details of any witnesses.
7. Accepting the Initial Settlement Offer
Accepting the initial settlement offer from the insurance company is another common error. Insurance companies often try to settle claims quickly and for as little money as possible. It’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offers.
8. Overlooking Vehicle Repairs
After an accident, it’s crucial to get your vehicle inspected and repaired promptly. Driving a damaged vehicle can be dangerous and can lead to further damage. It’s also important to choose a reputable repair shop and to communicate with them effectively about the repairs needed.
9. Ignoring Emotional Trauma
Car accidents can cause significant emotional trauma, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Ignoring these symptoms and failing to seek appropriate mental health support is a common mistake. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings, seek support, and consider professional help if needed.
Call Us After a Car Accident in Los Angeles
Knowing what to do after a car accident in Los Angeles is crucial. Steering clear of these common errors can help protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Los Angeles Injury Lawyers at 818-960-6155 for a free case review.