A car accident can cause car damage, liability issues, traffic citations, injuries, and in some cases death.
Car Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 there were 2.24 million car crashes with injuries. Luckily, according to the NHTSA fatal car accidents are at their lowest levels in 60 years as the result of safer car. Still, most drivers are likely to be involved in a car accident at some point. There are steps you can take to ensure your own safety as well as the other drivers around you. There are things you should do after a car accident. But below, we outline the things you should NOT do.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
Here’s a list of things to NOT do after a car accident:
- Leave the scene. You are legally required to stop, check on the other person and car involved, exchange all insurance and contact information and report it to law enforcement. Failure to do so means you’ve committed a crime.
- Forget to call 911. Even if the car accident seems minor, if you don’t get an official police report that documents the accident, what proof do you have? Sometimes law enforcement might not respond to collision unless there are injuries, but you always have an opportunity to get a report of the accident. This can help in the claim process, as well as protect you.
- Lose your cool. Try to remain as calm as possible and be polite.
- Admit fault. Do not admit to anything. But doing so, you’re legally admitting liability for the accident. This can expose you to lawsuits or other penalties.
- Forget proper documentation. Documenting any damage done to cars or the scene will provide you with any necessary evidence should the accident lead to a lawsuit. Try to take a few minutes to write down what happened from your point of view. Note time, date, streets, makes models and colors of cars, direction you were heading, contact information, and information from any witnesses that were at the scene. This will all help to build your case and help determine liability.
What To Do Next
Following the accident, you’ll want to notify your insurance provider as soon as possible. You should also visit a doctor that can evaluate for any injuries, even unseen. Sometimes injuries do not quickly or instantly appear following a car accident, and can appear weeks after. Lastly, you might want to call a lawyer. Should the accident become a lawsuit, working with an attorney early on can help build your case and protect you from making any potential missteps.