Car accidents are something no one wants to deal with, but you have to be prepared for the possibility of it happening to you. It’s estimated that the average driver will get into at least 3 to 4 car crashes over their driving lifetime. While most accidents are not fatal, many end up in catastrophe or serious injury. Knowing what to do after an accident could affect who will be held liable, how and if you’ll be compensated, and whether you’ll get to go home or not. Let’s take a look at some of the worst things you can do after you get into a car accident.
Not Speaking with a Lawyer
Not all car accidents are serious enough to spur a lawsuit, but you should still consider speaking with a lawyer, even if the accident seems minor at first glance. Even in states where you theoretically can’t sue the other party, a skilled lawyer may be able to demonstrate that your injuries were serious enough to sue. They may also be able to find factors that could incriminate the other party and show gross negligence, which would also make you eligible for compensation.
Leaving the Scene
Leaving the scene is one of the worst things that you can do. Causing damage to personal or public property without at least attempting to provide personal information counts as a hit and run, but will usually be treated as a misdemeanor. If you have an accident with another person and flee the scene, however, this will count as a felony pretty much anywhere in the country. So, make sure that you know the laws where you are.
Another thing you should never do on the scene of an accident is admit guilt in any way. Many will have the reflex of apologizing to other people if they caused lots of damage to their vehicle or injury. However, you have to go against your reflexes and say as little as possible. You may assume that you’re the guilty one, but there may be other factors at play that you weren’t aware of yet, so wait until all the facts surrounding the case have transpired first.
Not Seeing or Listening to a Doctor
If you suffer injuries, even minor ones, you need to visit a doctor immediately. You also have to follow their advice. The other party will have access to your medical records, and if they see that you have missed one or multiple appointments, or didn’t follow the doctor’s orders, they could use that to discredit some of your claims.
Not Gathering Evidence
The more evidence you get on the scene, the stronger your case will be. While the police will do their work and make a report, it is your job to get as much information as you can in the form of videos, photos, and recorded witness accounts.
These are only some of the mistakes people need to avoid after a car accident. These pointers should be enough to keep you out of trouble and start the process of getting compensated.