Since most drivers get into an accident at some point during their driving years, almost everyone has asked this foundational question: What should you do after a car accident? But it’s just as important to know what you shouldn’t do after a car accident. Here’s a list to get you started:
- Don’t Panic
It’s extremely important that you don’t lose your cool after an accident. You’ll need to make sure that everyone is physically all right, and then you’ll need to make a number of calls and take down information. So take a deep breath before you get started.
- Don’t Admit Fault
Even if you suspect your driving may have contributed to the accident, never admit fault — even in the form of a polite apology to the other driver. The other party’s auto accident injury attorneys could construe that as an admission, which could cost you big time if someone in the other car turns out to be severely injured.
- Don’t Settle It Without the Police
Even if an accident seems minor, never neglect to call the police. (In most states, you’re required by law to call if anyone is injured or property damage exceeds a certain amount, such as $500.) Having a police report on file is essential in case you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. Having an official record also protects you in case the other driver takes legal action.
- Don’t Wait to Seek Treatment
If you are even a tiny bit suspicious that you have experienced injury, you shouldn’t delay medical treatment. That medical history will become important if you later need to file a claim or lawsuit to have your medical bills covered, and how quickly you seek treatment can become a factor in determining the value of car accident settlements.
- Don’t Change Your Story
You’ll be telling quite a few people what happened, and it’s important that you don’t stray from the facts. Resist the urge to let the story get bigger with each telling.
- Don’t Assume a Lawsuit Is Necessary
You should never jump straight to a lawsuit. Keep in mind that even if you’ve been hurt or hired an auto accident injury lawyers, these matters can often be settled out of court, and perhaps even without a lawsuit.
Now that we’ve gone over the don’ts, what should you do after a car accident, in your experience? Join the discussion in the comments.