Did you know that around 13 car accidents happen every minute, according to statistics?

If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s critical that you follow the claims process correctly. Car accidents can be highly stressful and traumatic experiences. When you’re caught up in a car accident, it’s easy to make missteps in your insurance claim. 

Unfortunately, even small auto accident claim mistakes could be disastrous. Best case scenario, you might receive a lower payout than you deserve. In the worst-case scenario, you might jeopardize your entire claim. 

Get clued up and keep reading to find out how to easily sidestep mistakes in the auto claim filing process. 

1. Not Filing a Police Report

One of the first and biggest mistakes you can make is not filing a police report. Vehicle accident police reports are one of the most important auto accident claim documents. If you don’t file a police report, this will rob you of a key piece of evidence.

If you’ve been in an accident, the first thing to do is call the authorities. They will then either take your report on the spot or take you back to the station.

Having the authorities present makes sure that important details of the crash are taken down meticulously. It can also ensure that everyone stays as calm as possible. 

If someone needs emergency attention, any police units on the scene will quickly be able to call for an ambulance. 

2. Not Filing Your Claim Promptly

One of the most common auto accident claim mistakes people make is not filing their claims promptly. If you’re emotionally and mentally rattled after an accident, or have sustained injuries, filing an insurance claim might be the last thing on your mind. 

But, don’t let the initial stress of the situation trigger you to procrastinate about filing your claim. The longer you put off filing an insurance claim, the harder it can be to get a fair payout. 

As time passes, it can be difficult to gather additional evidence. What’s more, each state has a specific statute of limitations around filing deadlines. 

Here in New York, the statute of limitations allows claimants 2 years to file a claim if they have sustained an auto accident injury. If the accident only resulted in damage to property, claimants have 3 years to file a claim. 

Besides meeting the insurance claim filing deadline, you also need to make sure you file your accident report within 10 days of the accident. No-fault claims need to be filed within 30 days.

3. Not Gathering Evidence

Another very easy mistake to make after an auto accident is not gathering enough evidence. If you want to minimize liability and increase your chances of fair compensation, you have to gather and supply as much evidence as possible. 

If you have suffered an auto accident injury, your body of evidence will need to include medical reports and doctors’ diagnoses. If you hire a good New York accident lawyer, they will also be able to furnish you with expert witnesses should your case go to court. 

Medical reports are critical evidence pieces in an auto accident injury case. If you weren’t in any condition to gather evidence at the scene of the accident, these might be the only pieces of auto accident injury evidence you can collate. 

However, if you are uninjured at the scene of the accident, take the time to photograph the position of the vehicles and all damage to your car. You can also ask any eyewitnesses for their contact details in case you need them to give an account of the accident. 

4. Not Getting Your Injuries Seen To

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, getting your injuries seen to should be your number one priority. Even if you aren’t hurt, it’s still a good idea to go for a checkup with your doctor. They will be able to spot the signs of concussion or impacts to the spine, both common car accident-related injuries.

If left untreated, concussion can cause a host of long-term problems, including:

  • Headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Brain fog
  • Dizzyness
  • Mood swings

Getting medical attention is not just important for your physical healing. It can also be a critical part of proving your auto accident injury claim

Your doctor’s diagnosis can be a pivotal piece of evidence. 

5. Apologizing to the Other Driver

Depending on what type of person you are, you might feel compelled to apologize to the other driver for the accident, even if it’s not clear that you’re at fault. 

No matter how much compassion you feel for the other party, do not apologize. Apologizing can be a natural reaction and an expression of empathy, but in the case of auto accidents, it can be used against you as an admittance of guilt. 

6. Rushing to Accept an Insurance Payout Offer

One of the easiest auto accident claim mistakes to make is accepting the first payout an insurance company offers. Insurance companies are skilled at making consumers feel like insurers make the laws, and that you have to take whatever they offer.

This is not true. If an insurance company is lowballing you, you’re entitled to negotiate for a better payout. If the insurance company still doesn’t come to the table, you’re fully within your rights to take the matter to court. 

7. DIYing Negotiations

Another of the biggest auto accident claim mistakes you can make is taking the DIY route in negotiations. As we just said, consumers are entitled to negotiate with their insurance providers over unfair compensation. However, the odds aren’t stacked in your favor if you do it alone. 

Insurance companies have entire legal teams at their disposal. They also know that most consumers need compensation as soon as possible. If you negotiate on your own, a lot of insurance companies won’t budge. 

However, if you engage a savvy auto accident lawyer, this will make the insurer stand up and take notice. It signals that you mean business, and the insurer will know they can no longer get away will lowball tactics. 

Avoid These Auto Accident Claim Mistakes and Get the Legal Help You Need

Navigating a car accident claim process can be stressful and frustrating. Fortunately, now that you know about these 7 auto accident claim mistakes, you’ll have a far better chance of success. 

Do you need a New York car accident lawyer? We specialize in auto accidents and personal injury. As a leading Brooklyn car accident lawyer team, we have the knowledge and expertise to fight on your behalf. 

Get the legal help you need by hiring the best Brooklyn injury lawyer. Contact us today to discuss your case.