A car accident is one of the worst experiences in someone’s life. You will most likely miss work, crucial appointments, and in addition, you will deal with damages to your car, injuries, liability issues, possible traffic citations, and more.
The California Office of Traffic Safety reported that traffic fatalities increased 7 percent from 3,387 in 2015 to 3,623 in 2016.
It is important to understand that after a car accident takes place, the most critically important element to the accident includes the actions you take right after the accident happens. At the time of the accident, your heart is pounding, you are panicking about what might happen next, you wonder if the damage will be covered by the insurance, or are dealing with the pain of injury, or worrying about whether or not others are injured. Even though it is not easy to compose yourself, it is important to remain level-headed because the actions you take now could have far-reaching implications.
It is important to understand this and be prepared because the moments right after the accident can be highly stressful and this is why most people let their emotions get the best of them and make very bad decisions.
Consider this list of 5 things you should never do after an accident:
Never drive off after an accident
If any property damage or injuries have been inflicted, it is an automatic misdemeanour to leave the scene of an accident. Depending on the scenario, fleeing could also be punishable by fines or jail time. You are required by law to check on the other driver(s), exchange information, and contact law enforcement.
Do not admit guilt.
When you admit guilt, you are setting yourself up to take legal responsibility. Never do this without a lawyer present. While it can be tempting to apologize in the heat of the moment after a crash, just remember that assigning fault isn’t your job, and leave it to the law enforcement professionals, attorneys who may handle the case, insurance adjusters, and a court of law if necessary, to determine who’s ultimately at fault.
Do not negotiate with the other driver at the scene and don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company, or lawyer.
Some drivers try to negotiate directly with the other person involved in the accident. That is a bad idea. You can’t be sure the other person is honest. If they hand you a check, it may not be good, and if they offer cash, you don’t know where it came from. Always leave negotiation to the professionals. It is also best not to speak with any insurance companies or lawyers representing the other party about the incident. Be smart and tell them to contact your insurance company or lawyer if they need information.
Do not lose your cool.
We understand, having an accident can be extremely stressful and can provoke anger or hostility. It may make you feel better to express that anger and hostility at the moment, but it will add ammunition to any potential case against you. It is best that you remain calm and wait.
Not contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible
Accidents and the assessment of a viable legal case is a very complicated task for an inexperienced person to handle. If you choose not to contact a lawyer, you will likely face an uphill battle and you could lose the opportunity to receive proper compensation, and pursue justice. Be smart, get a lawyer.
A car accident is scary, and it is hard to clear your mind when you are involved in one. That is why you should always consider this list of things to avoid after a car accident. That way, if you’re actually involved in one, you won’t be confused, you just need to follow the guidelines on what to do when you’ve been involved in an accident.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, contact Maidenberg law Group for a free consultation. Call us toll-free at (888) 520-9617, or contact The Maidenberg Law Group online.