There’s a whole lot of information out there about what you should do after a car accident, hence why we all understand the need to gather evidence, contact our insurers, and so on. However, with each accident leaving us vulnerable and shaken, it’s all too easy to forget these essential pointers and make additional mistakes to boot.
Unfortunately, these moments directly after an accident are the most crucial when it comes to seeking compensation, ensuring speedy recovery, and generally keeping our names out of the mud. Hence, no matter how emotionally hard-hitting an accident might be, it’s essential to keep your head about you at least enough to avoid these often fatal mistakes.
Leaving without exchanging details
Most of us want to put accidents behind you as soon as possible. Obviously, that’s not an option if you’ve been involved in a major incident, but individuals involved in scrapes or bumps may be tempted to skip all the insurance stuff and just get going. Unfortunately, fleeing the scene of an accident is considered a crime in many states, and certainly won’t help you if things go to court. What’s more, taking the other driver’s number or word that they’re going to contribute towards repair is no guarantee of anything, leaving you open to being out of pocket even if they were at fault. Instead, you must take the time to exchange details, and contact your insurers on the scene to get the ball rolling and keep everything moving down official channels.
If you fear that you’re to blame for an accident, it’s tempting to apologize and fess up, but this is another thing you need to avoid. After all, at this stage, anything you say can be used against you, and even the best car accident attorney will have difficulty defending someone who held their hands up straight away. Even if you don’t think that you’re saying anything wrong, you should especially avoid saying sorry in any respect or equally pointing the finger at the other driver. Instead, remain neutral, speak to the other party only as much as necessary, and most certainly never suggest that your driving was to blame.
Omitting emergency services
You might assume that it’s not necessary to contact emergency services if no one’s visibly injured. However, even a small crash is a crime scene, and seeking physical assessments and thorough police reporting ensures the documentation that you’re going to need should this ever go to court. Certainly, a clean bill of health after the accident will put the other party’s future claims of whiplash to bed without question, while accurate police reporting can help to ensure adequate accounts/photographs are taken of things exactly as they happened, rather than how the other party’s attorney may choose to paint them.
It can be difficult to tick all the boxes when your hands are still shaking after an accident, but trust us, avoiding these mistakes is the best thing you could do to keep your name, and your finances, clear in the long run.