Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident in Oregon

Getting into a car accident can be a confusing and scary experience. In the aftermath of the crash, there are several steps that you should always take to ensure that the situation is handled properly and that you receive any compensation you are entitled to. However, there are also several mistakes that car accident victims make that could hinder their ability to recover the compensation they deserve. These mistakes could also end up placing liability on the wrong person. Here, we want to discuss the top five mistakes that you should avoid after an Oregon car accident.

1.    Failing to report the accident

After a vehicle accident occurs, it is not uncommon for one or both parties to try to resolve the situation without involving law enforcement or the insurance carriers. It can be tempting to handle a vehicle accident this way, particularly if there are no injuries or if there is no visible property damage. However, if you later discover that you are injured or that there is property damage, the initial failure to report the incident could be detrimental to any claim you make. Additionally, if the other party suddenly decides that they are injured or have sustained property damage, they could try to place the blame on you for not reporting the incident.

2.    Leaving the scene of the accident

Leaving the scene of an accident without properly reporting it is a crime in Oregon. Any person who causes a hit and run crash could be held both criminally and civilly liable in these cases. If you are involved in a crash, stay at the scene, check on everybody there, and call 911 to report the incident.

3.    Declining medical treatment

Even if you do not feel any pain in the aftermath of a crash, you need to be checked out by a doctor. There are some signs and symptoms of car accident injuries that may not show up until hours or days after the crash occurs. Only a qualified physician can determine the full extent of your injuries. If you decline treatment only later to determine that you have sustained an injury, the insurance carrier of the other party will use the initial reluctance to seek medical care against you.

4.    Accepting the first settlement offer

Insurance carriers are often quick to make a settlement offer in an effort to get you to drop any future claim you may have against them. Please understand that initial settlement offers are usually far below what you should be receiving. Do not accept the first offer. Use the first offer they send and then counter with a demand letter for the full amount that you are truly owed.

5.    Not working with an attorney

Many people who are involved in an accident caused by another party think they can handle the situation on their own. Unfortunately, injury victims are often left going up against well-funded and aggressive insurance carriers. A skilled attorney can use their resources to stand up to these insurance carriers, fully investigate the incident, and help determine liability. Most car accident attorneys in Oregon will take your case on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not have to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket cost for your case. When an attorney works on a contingency fee basis, they will only collect legal fees after they secure the compensation you deserve.