Car accidents are one of the most common reasons to file a personal injury claim. Before you assume anything about your recent collision, make sure you know the facts by debunking these common car accident myths.
Myth: It’s okay to drive away from a minor accident.
Even if no one is hurt and your car seems fine, don’t leave. First of all, there could be hidden damage, or you might start showing symptoms of whiplash hours later. What’s more, it’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident, no matter how minor. At the very least, exchange names, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information with the other drivers in case something comes up later.
Myth: My car insurance will pay for everything.
Often, the damages exceed the policy limits by thousands of dollars. Double-check your policy to make sure you have adequate coverage before you get in an accident. Then, know that you don’t have to accept a settlement offer. Insurance companies are notorious for paying as little as possible to settle a claim. If you feel like you’re entitled to more than the insurance company is offering, speak with an auto accident attorney.
Myth: The drivers involved should hash out who was at fault.
It’s okay to approach the other drivers and make sure everyone is all right, but don’t start an argument. In fact, you should avoid talking too much with other people at the scene, and definitely don’t admit fault or liability. Even saying “I’m sorry” or offering to pay for damages can create legal issues later. It’s best to leave discussions of fault to your insurance company and attorney.
Myth: I shouldn’t file a claim because my insurance rate will go up.
Simply the act of filing a claim won’t make your rate increase. However, if your claim is above a specific amount for an accident that is primarily your fault, your premium will go up a certain percentage. Generally, the increase will stay on your policy for three years following the claim. Be aware that if another driver files a claim with their insurance company for an accident you caused, your rate will increase, even if you don’t file a claim of your own.
Myth: Hiring a car accident attorney isn’t worth the cost.
If your car accident involves costly medical bills, significant property damage, or extended time off work, it pays to hire a car accident attorney. These professionals work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay for their services until they win your case. Plus, insurance companies end up paying three times more to policyholders who have a lawyer on their side.
At Taps & Associates, we provide personal attention to every client we work with, offering professional advice based on our extensive experience. We work to ensure the best possible outcome in your case by delivering unparalleled professionalism and attention to detail. To request your free case evaluation, please contact us online or call us at 404-492-8746.