Mistakes to Avoid After a Phoenix, AZ Car Accident

When you get into an accident, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. Unfortunately, people sometimes unknowingly sabotage themselves after a crash and limit how much they can recover.

Knowing the mistakes to avoid after a Phoenix, AZ car accident can ensure you do not inadvertently cost yourself money. If you are unsure how to proceed after a wreck, our local car accident attorneys could help.

Handling a Wreck Without the Police Is Unwise

Sometimes people avoid calling the police to the scene of an accident. They might be afraid of getting a ticket, or they may even have an outstanding warrant. However, failing to do so is a mistake that could result in a Phoenix, AZ auto accident settlement not being adequate to cover the injured person’s losses.

Arizona Revised Statute § 28-667 requires the police to prepare an accident report whenever they investigate a crash that resulted in injury, issuance of a traffic ticket, or property damage exceeding $2000. It takes very little damage to run up a $2000 auto repair bill, so calling the police after an accident is always a good idea, even when nobody seems hurt. A police accident report is essential evidence insurance companies use to determine compensation for accident claims.

A driver also must notify the insurance company promptly. The policy will explain the time limit that applies in a specific case, but in general, reporting the accident within 24 hours is wise.

Declining Medical Treatment Weakens Your Claim

Getting a medical evaluation immediately after an accident is critical, even when someone feels they are not hurt. Many injuries do not produce symptoms until some time has passed. A doctor could screen for hidden injuries, and the medical record they produce is important evidence in an insurance claim.

People are sometimes reluctant to accept transportation in an ambulance due to the cost—they may be concerned their health insurance will not cover the trip or they might not have health insurance. A Phoenix attorney could negotiate a lower price and a deferred payment arrangement, so an injured person should not feel hesitation about accepting ambulance services.

In any event, someone who has just been in an accident should not drive themselves to an emergency room or urgent care center. People who do not want to use an ambulance should call a friend or use a ride-share or taxi service. An insurance company might argue that someone who drives themselves after an accident could not have suffered significant injuries.

Talking Too Much Is a Big Mistake

An initial reaction after an accident is to apologize. The apology is not necessarily an admission of fault; it is often just a reflexive response to the situation. But an insurance company could interpret an apology as an admission of guilt, so it is best to avoid saying sorry after a crash.

Drivers should be cautious when speaking with the police. They should never admit to being at fault or breaking the law. Although they should be polite and cooperative, it is fine for a driver to say that they do not remember details or that they do not feel well enough to discuss the accident.

A driver’s insurance company will ask for a recorded statement, and sometimes other drivers’ insurers also want statements from an injured person. A driver or injured person should avoid the mistake of giving a recorded statement after a car crash until they have spoken to a Phoenix, AZ attorney.

Smart Conduct After an Accident Can Make a Big Difference

Drivers spend a lot of money on car insurance, expecting the insurance company to be there for them and their injured passengers. However, sometimes a driver’s conduct after an accident gives the insurer an excuse to pay less, or not pay at all.

There are numerous mistakes to avoid after a Phoenix, AZ car accident. Contact a local attorney immediately after the incident to preserve your rights to compensation.