Getting into an even small car accident can be devastating. People tend to be confused and stressed after the incident. You might lose track of time and space, and some of us will even panic. However, as hard as it might be, it is very important to remain calm in these situations. This is especially true if you suffered an injury.
To cover your interests and get the best protection possible, you need to be levelheaded in these situations. Even if you were a victim, there is a chance that the other side will present you as the guilty party in front of the police officers. So, you need to get your story straight, contact personal injury lawyers (if there was an injury), and avoid doing anything dumb.
Without further ado, here are 6 mistakes people make after a car accident.
1. Don’t disregard your injuries
Often, people disregard their injuries thinking they’re fine. However, as soon as a body part cools off and the shock subsidies, you might feel extreme pain. Some people suffer a concussion without even realizing it. Of course, this can leave a permanent effect on your health, and in the heat of the moment, you might not even document it for insurance and health coverage.
If you have any suspicion, it is crucial to perform a thorough diagnosis as soon as possible. If there is an EMT at the scene, they should check you as well.
2. Make sure to call the police immediately
Even if the other side tries to persuade you against it, and even if the damage to your vehicle is minor, you need to disregard their wishes and contact the police. In certain states, you are legally obliged to call police officers after any kind of traffic accident.
Simply put, you can never tell what the long-term consequences of the crash are, whether we’re talking about damage to your car or to your health. If you try to start a lawsuit, later on, you won’t have a legal ground to do it without a valid police report.
3. Be careful as to what you’re saying
If the police and medics come to the scene, you will have to talk to lots of people. They will ask you various questions trying to determine your physical state and the guilty party. No matter what, you shouldn’t give them too much information. In fact, admitting fault is the last thing you need, even if all the evidence points against you.
Among others, some drivers might admit guilt even if they didn’t cause the accident. This probably has to do with nice manners and a feeling of remorse. Even small statements such as “I’m sorry” can be taken against you.
4. Collect evidence as soon as possible
Based on everything that has been said so far, it is obvious that you need to take a proactive stance after an accident. Among others, you are responsible for gathering the evidence.
So, what does this actually mean? First off, start by interviewing the nearby people. If the case reaches the court, they can be invaluable witnesses for you. Take their names and phone numbers, and, if possible, ask them to give a short recorded testimony. Speaking of the phone, make sure to take pictures of the scene, damage to the vehicle, and road marks.
Once the police officer makes the statement, take a copy of it and write down the officer’s name and badge number.
5. Avoid quick settlements
After an accident, most people just want to get it over with. They want to get some money from the other side for the repairs and go their separate ways. However, this isn’t always ideal.
First off, the damage to your vehicle might be bigger than initially anticipated. Keep in mind that the other driver will try to lowball you in these situations. Unfortunately, this isn’t even the worst part. Some of the injuries that you’ve suffered might come back to bite you. The victim will end up will massive hospital bills, and they’ll have to pay everything themselves.
In this modern world, we are too dependent on social media. As soon as something happens to us, we have the itch to post it online. This is the last thing you need after a car crash.
To stay on the safe side, don’t use social media for a few days, and definitely don’t share any information regarding the crash, whether you’re a victim or a guilty party.