Getting into a car accident is stressful and surprising. For most people, it’s a first-time experience. They don’t know what to do and, perhaps more importantly, they don’t know what not to do. They may make serious mistakes just because they feel confused and out of their comfort zone.
To help you avoid these errors and take proper action after a crash, here are a few things you do not want to do:
- Do not neglect to contact the authorities. Much of the time, all you have to do is call 911. You want to file a police report and get an official account of what happened. If you got hurt in the accident, having this account could help you later, as you seek financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident.
- Do not drive away from the accident scene. You may be in a hurry. You may not think the crash was your fault. Even so, you should never leave the scene of a crash. Wait for the authorities to get things sorted out. In many cases, it’s illegal to leave and you could face serious charges, especially if someone got hurt in the crash.
- Do not admit fault. Don’t worry about whether or not you think you caused the crash. Don’t tell the other driver you did so. You don’t have enough information. Maybe that driver is intoxicated and it was really their fault. Accidents happen quickly. You may think it was your fault when you did nothing wrong, so don’t make a confession that you could regret later.
- Do not forget to take pictures and get the other driver’s information. You need to know their name and contact information. It’s also wise to get a picture of their license plate. Pictures of the scene can help to establish fault and show just how much damage really happened in the accident. The more evidence you can gather at the scene, the better.
- Do not escalate the situation. You may feel furious that the other driver caused the accident because of a thoughtless mistake, possibly injuring you or a loved one. That feeling is natural and you’re in the right, but do not let your feelings take over. Don’t escalate the situation or engage in road rage. Just leave everything for the authorities to sort out and focus on getting proper medical care.
Now that you know what not to do, let’s take a moment to discuss what you should do. You should look into all of your legal options and you should take the time to understand the rights you have after the crash.