Many personal injury lawyers tell you what to do after an accident. We also tell you what to do after an accident and what to do after a motorcycle accident. Call 911, then call 1-800-HURT-911®. But this article will tell you what NOT to do after an accident, which is not obvious!
8 Things Not to Do After an Accident
- Don’t take a recommendation from someone at the accident scene to see a lawyer or doctor. A recommendation from a friend is ok.
- Don’t take money from anyone to see a lawyer or doctor.
- Don’t speak to anyone who calls you (usually the day after your accident) about medical treatment, even if you think it’s the hospital, because it’s not!
- Don’t speak to anyone who contacts you about a lawyer.
- Don’t speak to an insurance company that isn’t your insurance company.
- Don’t speak to your insurance company before you call a lawyer.
- Don’t sign any release without a lawyer reviewing it.
- Don’t use an insurance company collision damage app.
When Someone at the Accident Recommends a Lawyer or Doctor
You may be approached at an accident by someone who you think is a lawyer or recommends a lawyer. He/she may also recommend a doctor.
Never speak to anyone at the accident who you think is a lawyer because the person is really an illegal “runner” who will illegally sell your case and information to a lawyer and a doctor. If you do, you will become a victim of fraud.
When Someone Offers You Money to Go to a Doctor
You may be offered money, as much as $1,500, to see a doctor and sign up with a personal injury lawyer. It may sound like a good deal, especially since you need to see a doctor anyway. But don’t do it.
If you do, you will find out later why it was a horrible mistake to take money from a doctor willing to commit a crime.
What Not to Do: DO NOT talk to anyone, accept money from anyone, or agree to go to a doctor recommended by someone at an accident or who is offering you money! Find out why taking money from a runner can ruin your personal injury case and cost you tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars later.
Is it illegal for anyone to pay you money to see a doctor to sign up with a lawyer? Yes. Lawyers who illegally pay for cases are committing a crime and only care about making a quick buck for themselves. If you really need money right now, we can get you a settlement cash advance.
When a Hospital or Doctor Calls You and Asks You to Come In
You may receive a call on the day of the accident or the day after the accident from someone claiming to be calling from the hospital or medical clinic telling you to come in for a follow-up appointment. This is not the hospital calling!
This is a scam run by a medical clinic, similar to the one mentioned above when someone pays you money. You can ruin your personal injury case if you go to the medical clinic. Find out why someone calling you from the hospital or medical clinic is a scam.
What Not to Do: HANG UP THE PHONE! DO NOT go to the clinic. Do not make an appointment. If you need to see a doctor, go to your own doctor. If you need emergency medical treatment, go to the emergency room at a hospital. If you do not know a doctor to see, we will be happy to give you the names of doctors near you.
When Your Insurance Company Calls You
Either you will get a call from an insurance company claims representative, or you will call your insurance company.
The claims representative will be very nice to you, and so sorry to hear about your accident and injury. It may feel nice to know that your insurance company cares. But, guess what, they don’t!
Your insurance company only wants to get the information they can use to reduce the amount of money your claims will cost them. The insurance company even has manuals telling the claims representatives what to say to you.
We have a copy of an extensive Allstate manual telling claims representatives what to say to you to see if you are committing insurance fraud or to determine if there is anything Allstate can do to avoid paying the claim.
When you speak with anyone at your insurance company, your call will be recorded, and what you say will probably hurt you, even if you think you’re smart enough to know what to say.
You will be asked about your accident and how it happened. You will also be asked about your injuries and how you are feeling. The insurance company doesn’t really care how you are feeling. If it’s the No-Fault insurance company, they want to manage your medical treatment, so it doesn’t cost them a lot of money.
What Not to Do: DO NOT speak to anyone at your insurance company before speaking with a personal injury lawyer. If you receive a call, simply say, “I can’t speak right now, and I will call back.” Then, call us 7 days/nights for a free consultation with no obligation.
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When you fill out claim forms, you may not include important information and may include information that can hurt you. When you call us, we will speak with your insurance company for you, and we will fill out and file all of the insurance company claim forms which they require.
When Someone Else’s Insurance Company Calls You
The other insurance company will also try to call you to get information to protect them by reducing the value of your claim. They will say they just want to hear your story about how the accident happened.
Telephone conversations that insurance companies are always recorded. The claims representative is trained by the insurance company to get the information they need to reduce or eliminate your claim.
There are many tiny details in the law that they know about and you don’t, which can ruin your claim. For instance, in a hit-and-run accident, they will always ask you if you were cut off. If you say yes, they will deny your claim.
What Not to Do: NEVER speak to anyone at someone else’s insurance company! NEVER give a statement!
It’s possible that the claims representative will say that you don’t need a lawyer, that they will treat you fairly, and that attorney’s fees will cost you a lot of money. This is absolutely not true. While research by insurance companies has shown that, on average, people can get 3 1/2 times more money with a lawyer than without a lawyer, most personal injury lawyers can probably get you 5-10 times more money.
Insurance companies would love for you to be unaware of your rights. However, it’s unlikely that a claims representative will tell you that you don’t need a lawyer because it’s illegal. But Allstate was criminally convicted after doing that. It saved them so much money that, apparently, they did it again and were criminally convicted a second time.
Don’t Sign a Release Without a Lawyer
Don’t sign a release for collision damage without a lawyer reviewing it. Signing a release will terminate your rights. You may agree to terminate some of your rights but you may be unpleasantly surprised later to find you terminate all of your rights. Read about what you should know before signing a release or depositing a check for collision damage.
Should I use an Insurance Collision Damage App?
We recommend that you do not use an insurance company collision damage app and that you bring your car to your body shop. To find out what you need to do before you use your insurance company’s collision damage app, read Should I Send a Photo of My Car Damage for an Insurance Estimate?
Bonus – 4 Additional Things NOT to Do After an Accident
- Don’t assume you do not have a fracture or broken bone after an accident if you’re told at the emergency room that you don’t and you have a lot of pain.
- Instead of going to urgent care, go to the emergency room, preferably by ambulance.
- Don’t assume you do not have a case if you call a personal injury lawyer who either doesn’t want your case or doesn’t seem interested in your case. Call us!
- Don’t discuss your personal injury case with your friends and family. Even before your case settles, they will ask you to borrow money on your personal injury case. When your case settles, you will likely get a lot of money, and they will come out of the woodwork to borrow money.
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Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.