Being involved in a car accident can be a scary event — and with the adrenaline rush and fear that often comes after a crash, it can be difficult to figure out what the next steps are. But there are a few important things to do after a crash that are essential for both the wellbeing of anyone involved and any personal injury cases that may come later on. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes after an accident, so here are a few things that people should not do after being involved in a car crash.
Do not leave the scene
While it may be tempting to just want to go home after a collision, especially if a person doesn’t have any obvious injuries, it’s important to stay at the scene. Leaving the scene after an accident is not only unsafe, but it can also result in a hefty fine. If someone leaves the scene, it could then be considered a hit-and-run. Anyone involved in a car collision should always remain at the scene, call 911, and wait for police to arrive. This is important even if no one is hurt and the damages are minor.
Do not say who was at fault
When talking to the police, witnesses, or even the other driver, people involved in a collision should never admit it was their fault out loud — even if it was clearly them who was at fault. Drivers should always be honest when giving their statement, but fault should never be admitted. This is because admitting fault can be used by insurance companies and lawyers to increase fines and damage fees. Instead according to the attorneys at Cummings Law drivers should focus on hiring a reputable attorney who can then help guide them in what they should say and who they should say it to. Doing this will give drivers the best possible chance at having insurance cover damages or receiving compensation for injuries.
Do not yell at the other driver
Emotions are often running rampant and it’s not uncommon for people to lose their cool. However, playing the blame game or starting to yell at the other driver will only make matters worse, even if the collision was clearly their fault. Instead, those involved should work together to remedy the situation. People should always ask the other driver if they’re alright, determine who is going to call 911, and make sure all vehicles involved are moved to the side of the road safely. Remaining calm will help everyone assess the situation and make sure everyone remains safe.
Do not forget to document the incident
Anyone involved should do their best to properly document the accident. This can involve taking pictures, exchanging contact information, getting the other driver’s insurance information, and even documenting the surroundings, like the location and time of the accident. Many drivers make the mistake of thinking that if they file a report, they don’t have to document anything themselves. But documenting the accident themselves can be beneficial later on. Insurance companies may ask what happened and attorneys need to look at photos for possible evidence — it’s crucial to not simply rely on the police’s accident report because drivers may not get a copy of it and it may be difficult to obtain quickly.
It’s not always easy to figure out what to do after an accident, especially if someone is severely injured. But avoiding these common mistakes is important and can help ensure everyone involved in the accident remains safe and has what they need for their insurance or personal injury claim later on.