Getting into a car accident is already stressful and traumatic enough. Doing or saying the wrong things afterward can make it even worse. In fact, making a grave mistake can prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve–worse, you may even be liable for the damages that were caused by another person.
No one wants to get into a car accident, but it is impossible to eliminate the risk of getting into one. If you happen to get into a car accident, here are the things that you should NOT do.
In most states, everyone who is involved in a car accident is required to stay on the scene. Leaving, even if you are not the one at fault, can turn the accident into a criminal case.
If you get into an accident, stop your vehicle or pull to the side of the road to avoid more collisions. If the other driver drives off, stay put and wait for the police to come.
Fail to call 911
Regardless if someone is hurt or not, you must call 911 after getting into a car accident. The police will help determine the driver at fault by investigating the scene and speaking to witnesses. Then, they will create a report that identifies how the accident happened and who is the one at fault. This report is often crucial in making insurance claims, as well as for proving innocence if ever the case goes to court.
Police can also help move vehicles off the road and divert traffic around the scene. Moreover, they can also ensure that drivers exchange proper information before leaving.
Escalate the situation
After an accident, emotions tend to run high. But even if the other driver is clearly the one at fault, do not escalate the situation by fighting with them or showing any signs of aggression. This will accomplish nothing but make the situation more stressful than it already is, and the last thing you want is to get into a physical fight with someone.
Forget to exchange information
If you get into an accident, one of the most important things you should do is to exchange information with the other driver, including names, insurance companies, and policy numbers.
Even if the accident is your fault, do not say that it is. Anything you say after an accident can be held against you, and even saying “I’m sorry” can be taken as an admission of guilt.
The adrenaline rush that you get after an accident can hide the pain of injuries for hours or even days. As time goes by and your injuries remain untreated, they can get worse and even cause semi-permanent damage to your body. Hence, even if you feel perfectly fine, don’t forgo going to the doctor for a full examination.
More importantly, when a doctor detects an injury, the hospital record can be used to receive personal injury compensation from the person at fault. If you wait too long to get checked out by a doctor, you may hurt your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Moreover, your injuries may get worse and render you function properly for quite some time, possibly even leading to income loss.
Not getting a lawyer
A car accident attorney can make the aftermath of a collision much easier as opposed to handling the case yourself. It is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. In this way, the other driver and their insurance company will have to talk to you through your attorney, making the experience less stressful and less prone to mistakes.
A car accident, even if minor, can be incredibly stressful, especially during the events that happen afterward. To prevent the case from getting worse and ensure that you get proper compensation, never do or say these things after a car accident. The presence of mind can mean the difference between getting compensated and having to pay for an accident that is not your fault.