The first few moments after a car accident, your world seems in a blur. It’s hard to believe what happened and you look around to make sure you or your passengers didn’t suffer an injury. You might sit in your car for a few moments, not exactly sure what to do next. You likely don’t realize you could make mistakes in the next few minutes and days – mistakes that could hurt your insurance claim in the long run.

Here are five mistakes drivers often make when they are in a crash:

  1. Not reporting an accident to police. You want to ensure police respond to the crash and make a report about it. The police report will become evidence if you suffer an injury and need to get compensation from your insurance company or you suffer a serious enough injury that you need to sue the other driver if they were at fault for the crash.
  2. Admitting fault for the accident. Yes, Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. That means your auto insurance coverage will cover your injury costs, likely to a set limit. Yet if you admit fault for an accident, you hurt your ability to recover from the other driver involved if you suffer a serious injury. And that driver may be partially at fault for the accident too.
  3. Not receiving medical treatment for injuries you suffer. You should seek medical treatment at the scene or shortly after the accident. You want documentation of any injuries you receive to show how serious your injuries are and how long you may need to recover.
  4. Not taking photographs at the scene and writing down what you remember about the accident. You want to document what happened the best you can after a crash.
  5. Accepting a settlement from your insurance company for your injury costs without consulting an attorney. You may want to just put your accident behind you and move on. However, insurance companies often offer accident injury victims low-ball settlements to settle their cases quickly. An experienced attorney can ensure you receive proper compensation in a personal injury settlement.

Knowing how to avoid making a mistake after your car accident is important. You want to be prepared and know how to protect your interests, especially if you suffer an injury and need to make a personal injury claim.