It is easy to make mistakes in the aftermath of a car accident in Buffalo, NY. Many car accident victims make mistakes later as well. Some are overwhelmed by worries, anxiety, or the adrenaline rush. Others have no idea what to expect or how to act and get tricked by insurance agents or the other parties’ Buffalo car accident lawyers.
How or why accident victims make mistakes does not really matter. What matters is that those mistakes can cost them their right to compensation or make their case more difficult. Also, all mistakes can be easily avoided with the help of a Buffalo car accident lawyer. The following advice may help as well.
5 Common Car Accident Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
1. Leaving the Accident Scene and Failing to Comply with the Duties Established by the Law
According to section 600 of the NY Vehicle and Traffic laws, drivers involved in car accidents have the following obligations:
- Pull over at the accident scene or as close as possible
- Take measures not to impede traffic if their vehicle can be moved and no one was injured in the accident
- Report the accident and request medical assistance for the injured
- Exchange contact data, driving license, and insurance information with the other parties involved.
Failing to comply with these duties would subject the person in question to severe penalties. It could also be interpreted as a sign of guilt and create the premises for the following mistake.
2. Not Gathering Evidence from the Scene
Many drivers do not bother to take photos, record videos, and gather witness contact details at the accident scene. Some do not realize they will need them, while others assume that the evidence collected by the law enforcement officer is sufficient.
Under NY law, in order for a car accident victim to obtain compensation for their losses, they will need to prove that:
- The party at fault owed them a duty of care that they breached or acted negligently
- Their breach or negligence caused the accident
- The accident brought about the losses the victim seeks compensation for
The evidence available at the accident scene is valuable and should not be ignored. Details like vehicles position, speed, and damages matter. So does the drivers’ physical and emotional condition (they could be extremely tired, sick, or intoxicated. Nearby cameras and witnesses can provide valuable information as well.
3. Not Getting a Medical Evaluation
Under the adrenaline rush, many car accident victims mistakenly believe that they are safe and sound. They do not see a doctor and, thus, fail to diagnose accident injuries. Some injuries display symptoms only days or weeks after the accident.
It is important to diagnose and document them on time. On one hand, ignored, many injuries become life-threatening. On the other hand, the party at fault may refuse to compensate medical expenses and blame the injuries’ aggravation on the lack of timely treatment.
4. Giving Statements and Signing Documents without Reading
Many accident victims find themselves assaulted by insurance agents and the other parties’ auto accident lawyers. They are asked questions, pressured to sign documents, and they comply without realizing what they are doing. The best strategy is to take a step back and refrain from answering any requests.
The adrenaline rush and the pressure makes many people say things they should not. Some apologize, others give reassurance that they were unharmed. Many sign right waivers or accept settlement offers without reading or actually understanding the terms. They only realize their mistake when their words are used against them or they realize they gave up their right to compensation.
5. Not Having the Claim Evaluated by Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers
Car accident victims often choose to seek compensation on their own. They only claim their car damages, medical bills, and, sometimes, lost wages. What they do not know is that they could be entitled to other types of damages as well.
For example, some injuries qualify for pain and suffering. Some cases qualify for punitive damages. Cases involving disfigurement and/or disability could reach huge amounts. Buffalo car accident attorneys know how to calculate and justify these amounts. While their services come for a price, they usually end up paying for themselves by earning more money than their clients could.
Avoid These Mistakes and Find Out How Much Your Claim Is Worth by Consulting Our Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers Now!
Why risk your right to compensation when avoiding mistakes is so easy and even free! You already know what to do at the accident scene from this post. You can also find out how much your claim is worth for free! Schedule a free claim evaluation with one of our Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers now!