Friday, September 25, 2015

What Not to do After a Car Accident

Photo courtesy of Volvo
Fortunately for most drivers, car accidents are an occasional thing. Most people don't want to think about getting into an accident because they can be scary, but by not thinking about such a situation they put themselves at risk. You need to know what to avoid doing immediately after an accident on the road, because what you do in the moments after your car is wrecked can follow you for some time afterward. The following items are all things people commonly do, even though some are dangerous or even illegal.

Lose your temper

Never, ever, start yelling at or making aggressive moves towards the other driver. It's understandable that your emotions might be running high after being in a wreck, especially if it was a bad one. Even if it's blatantly obvious that the other driver was at fault, you cannot take the law into your own hands. Remember that you could be charged with assault if you do lose your cool and lay hands on the other driver, so if you're upset it's probably best to keep to yourself.

Admit any fault

Even if you feel bad about what happened to the other party in the wreck, never admit that you were at fault. Saying that you're sorry counts and it can be used against you in a dispute between insurance companies, or if the case goes to court. You can ask if the other party is okay and help them if they are injured, but keep the apologies to yourself.

Leave the scene of the wreck

Taking off after an accident is a very bad idea, even if you don't have insurance. The moment you flee the scene of an accident, you have broken the law, even if the accident was the other driver's fault. Going back to the accident after leaving still means you have violated the law and are subject to criminal charges. You must stop your car, check on the people in the other vehicle, and exchange insurance information with them.

Forget to call the police

You must contact the local police and follow their instructions about the wreck. Even if you swap insurance information with the other driver, you have no idea if that information is even accurate or current. There are some people who carry around falsified insurance information when they aren't even insured. The police can help sort things out so you're not left holding the bill for the wreck. Not only that, most insurance companies will not pay out on an accident that was not reported to the police because of the potential for fraud. Even if the police don't come to the scene of the accident, you still need to call them before you leave.

Neglect to document the scene

You might think the police or your insurance company will document the scene of the accident, but they might not even show up. Just about everyone carries a smart phone with them these days, so pull it out and start taking as many pictures as you can. Document where the two cars are, any damage on them, the license plate of the other car, and anything else pertaining to the wreck.

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