5 Motor Vehicle Accident Myths
Nearly every minute of the day, there is a car accident occurring on the roads across the United States. Despite the frequency of motor vehicle accidents, many drivers are unprepared for what to do after a crash. Misinformation may prevent drivers from protecting their rights or pursuing compensation for accident damages.
Motor vehicle accident attorneys at The Tawwater Law Firm in Oklahoma City, OK, have a combined total of over 40 years in practice. Our attorneys are prepared to help accident victims in the aftermath of a crash. Here, we dispel five common motor vehicle accident myths to give individuals accurate information about their rights regarding car accidents and collision injuries.
Myth #1: It’s Okay to Leave the Scene of an Accident if Damages Are Minor
Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident is never okay. In Oklahoma, failing to stop at the scene of an accident is a crime. Depending on the extent of collision damages, drivers who leave the scene of a crash, or fail to stop, can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
Regardless of how minor a crash may seem, drivers should follow these simple steps:
- Check on all other involved parties to determine if anyone is injured
- Exchange driver's license and insurance information with other drivers
- Collect contact information from accident witnesses
- Report the crash to the police
- If possible, take photos or video of the accident scene, property damage, and injuries
- Report the accident to your insurance company
Myth #2: I Don’t Need to See a Doctor if I Have No Obvious Injuries
One of the most common mistakes people make after a car crash is failing to see a doctor. People often assume that if there are no obvious injuries then they don’t require medical attention. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents frequently cause internal injuries that are not visible. Similarly, injury symptoms can develop days or weeks after a crash. A doctor’s visit is the best way to ascertain if underlying injuries are present.
Myth #3: My Injuries Are Minor, so My Claim Isn’t Worth Anything
When a car crash results in injuries, it is always worth pursuing a claim. Even seemingly minor injuries can cause physical, emotional, and financial damages. “Minor” injuries like torn ligaments, whiplash, and concussion can result in losses such as medical expenses, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and lost wages, all of which should be accounted for when pursuing compensation for injury damages.
Myth #4: I Hit a Driver From Behind, so the Accident Is My Fault
Most Oklahoma City drivers hear that a rear-end car accident is always the fault of the tailing driver and that is usually true, but not always. In certain circumstances (a car’s brake lights were out, a car was pushed into the back of a car by a third vehicle, etc.), liability may be shared or assigned to another driver. Drivers who hit another vehicle from behind should not assume they are liable for accident damages, and they should never admit fault at the scene of the crash.
Myth #5: The Insurance Company Will Take Care of Me, So I Don’t Need a Lawyer
Drivers need to understand that insurance companies look out for their own best interests rather than those of accident victims. Even if an insurance representative seems friendly and offers a quick settlement, it is usually because they are attempting to close a claim and minimize financial losses before the full extent of accident injuries is known. Hiring a motor vehicle accident attorney is the best way for crash victims to protect themselves and obtain the maximum compensation they are due.
Contact Our Oklahoma City Legal Team
There is a lot of misinformation about car accidents, which is why crash victims should work with a motor vehicle accident attorney with the knowledge and expertise to represent their claims. If you have been injured in a collision and would like to discuss your case with our Oklahoma City legal team, send a message to The Tawwater Law Firm.