Don’t Fall for These 5 Car Accident Myths
Every time you get behind the wheel of a car – or ride as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle – you face a certain degree of risk. Research from DriverKnowledge.com shows that there are 6 million car accidents in the United States every single year. These accidents lead to more than 90 deaths per day and over 3 million injuries annually.
While you never anticipate being involved in a car accident, crashes happen. And rather unfortunately, car crash victims are often led to believe certain misconceptions that hurt their chances of reaching a full recovery.
This article is here to set the record straight and provide drivers like yourself with the truth. In light of this, here are some common myths you can – and should – ignore:
- You Can Work it Out With the Other Driver
In minor fender benders where there isn’t much damage and everyone seems to be okay, it’s tempting to just exchange contact and insurance information and promise to work it out later – but this is a major mistake.
When you leave an accident scene without an official police report, it becomes difficult to recover the damages you may need at a later date. This may also be viewed as a decision to negotiate, which could be viewed as an admission of guilt and fault.
Don’t cut corners. Take the time to call the police, file a report, and go through the proper insurance channels. It may seem like a pain in your rear, but it’s the proper way to handle a car accident.
- You Don’t Need Medical Attention if You Feel Fine
Immediately after a car accident, it’s natural for drivers and passengers to take a physical inventory of their situation. If there’s no immediate pain or signs of discomfort, people don’t typically seek out medical attention. However, this isn’t the recommended response.
Even if you feel fine, it’s a good idea to seek out medical attention. At the very least, you should visit the doctor to get a basic evaluation. This could help you identify any hidden symptoms and will establish a record of care that may be important should symptoms emerge in the days or weeks that follow.
- Fault is All or Nothing
It’s a common myth that one person is entirely to blame for a car accident and the other driver is 100 percent innocent, but this is false. The truth is that multiple people can be found at fault (and to varying degrees).
“It’s important for you to know that even if you held some responsibility for causing the auto wreck, you can still pursue other involved parties for the part they played in the accident—as long as you weren’t the person who was mostly to blame for the crash,” the Law Offices of Michael Cordova explains. “Any blame you hold will reduce the overall value of your claim.”
It’s for this reason that evidence is so important. Even if you know that you’re slightly to blame for an accident, you should take the time to collect and compile details that show the other driver is also at fault.
- The Insurance Adjustor Will Look Out for You
I pay my insurance company a chunk of money every single month, so they’ll look out for me after the accident. This is what people often assume, but it’s far from reality. Insurance companies are in the business of turning a profit. Any money they have to pay out hurts their profit margin. As such, they make it their primary objective to pay as little as they can get away with.
Never assume that the insurance adjustor is looking out for your best interests. Be prepared to negotiate and play hardball. Otherwise, you could get fleeced.
- A Car Accident Lawyer is Too Expensive
People often refuse to hire a car accident lawyer because they believe it costs too much. In reality, the opposite is true. Not hiring a lawyer is far more expensive.
In most cases, a car accident lawyer works on a contingency basis. This means you only have to pay them if they recover damages for your case. This makes it a risk-free investment.
Take Car Accidents Seriously
No car accident is insignificant. Whether it’s a minor fender bender in your neighborhood or a high-speed collision on an interstate, make sure you respond in a disciplined manner that protects your interests and gives you the best opportunity to recover – physically, financially, and emotionally.