While the number of road accidents has decreased significantly in recent years, there is still a significant number that happens every year in the United States.
You can be the safest and most cautious driver out there, but there’s still a possibility for you to get involved in a vehicular collision.
When you find yourself in this situation, try to avoid committing these mistakes:
Leaving the scene
If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do after an accident, it’s driving away. It doesn’t matter if you just scratched another person’s car, or if you have an all-important meeting to attend, the repercussions for leaving the scene after a crash are just not worth it.
So while you may be tempted to speed away, it’s important that you stay and check on the other person involved. Besides, if any of you sustained any injuries, you should make sure you get the proper medical care first and foremost.
So don’t forget to call 911 and wait for medical dispatchers or police officers to arrive.
And yes, you should do this even if the other party does feel that you can do without the authorities. Otherwise, you might not have proof that the event ever happened, and that might affect insurance claims and other legalities down the line.
Admitting that it was your fault
If you’re a very polite person, it might be tempting to go out of your car and apologize profusely to everyone within earshot. Do not do this.
This can be taken out of context and interpreted as an admission of guilt, and you definitely don’t want to be blamed for other people’s mistakes.
Even if you do feel like you’re in the wrong, it’s not recommended to admit liability of any kind. So instead of telling the story like it was your fault, stick to the facts and just report what happened to the police or insurance officer.
Don’t forget to document everything before you do: what you were doing and where were you headed before the crash, the exact street and location, the other driver’s name and vehicle information, photos of the collision, and even witness accounts if you can get a hold of them.
And remember, if you ever feel like you need extra legal protection, ask for professional recommendations within your area. You may want to get a car accident attorney in Minnesota if you’re in the Upper Midwest, for example.
It might be tempting to bury everything that happened after the car accident, but the paperwork is inevitable, unfortunately.
Don’t procrastinate either. If you need to file an insurance claim, you may need to submit it in a timely manner. Otherwise, if your insurance company has any time limits, your claim might be forfeit.
On a related note, make sure that you’re compensated fairly. Avoid signing anything without a lawyer. And if you feel like you’re getting an unfair settlement, don’t proceed. Instead, ask for legal advice.
The aftermath of car accidents is just the worst. It’s nerve-wracking, overwhelming, confusing, and in some cases, even painful. So it’s understandable that you won’t be in the right headspace after a wreck. No one would expect you to be.
Still, these are some things that you should keep in mind in case you find yourself in this situation. Try to remember NOT to do these things after a car cra