Any car accident, even a fender-bender, can be a jarring incident. Your most immediate concern will surely be for your safety and the safety of others. Those first moments after a car crash will find you determining whether anyone has been injured, assessing the damage of your car and other property, deciding whether you need to move to safer grounds, and determining whether you need to contact emergency response personnel. In such a situation, it can be difficult to remain cool and collected. Following are some common mistakes people make following an automobile accident:
1. Admitting guilt. It is wise to remember, should there be a legal dispute between you and the other driver, that what you say and do can be used in court. Do not admit that the accident was your fault, even if you believe it may have been.
2. Avoiding the doctor. If you have been injured, get medical help right away. In many instances, you may believe that your back or neck pain may go away if you wait long enough. In fact, your pain may indicate more serious injuries, which may grow more severe the longer you wait to get help. If you feel any pain or discomfort, see a medical professional right away.
3. Leaving the scene of the accident prematurely. Some drivers panic after an accident and do not know what to do. In such a panic you may be tempted to flee the scene. Don’t! Such an act may not only be illegal, but may cast you as the party at fault. Before leaving the scene of the accident, exchange contact information, ensure that everyone is okay, and contact authorities if necessary.
4. Signing documents besides the police report. If police arrive at the scene, they may ask you to sign a police report. You should not have to sign any other documents. Do not feel pressured to sign anything provided by other drivers or parties at the scene of the accident. If you sign something you should not, you may damage your case against the party at fault for the accident.
5. Leaving your insurance company in the dark. Some people fear to inform their insurance companies of auto accidents because they believe that their insurance rates will rise. In fact, if the accident is not your fault, your insurance rates should not change at all. When dealing with an accident, your own insurance company can be your best protection. They are a great resource in letting you know how to handle the accident.
6. Failing to gather evidence. Be sure to take photos of the vehicles involved in the accident and of the accident scene. Speak with any witnesses nearby and be sure to get their contact information.
What to Do if You Are Involved in an Auto Accident
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney at can review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.