Being involved in a car accident can ruin anyone’s day. It can become one of the most difficult moments of our lives and that of our loved ones. Any driver may become involved in a car accident at any given time. After such an incident, there are steps that you should follow for your safety and that of the others affected. However, there are also some things you should not do, and we will go over them in this post.
It is important to be prepared. Therefore, here are some tips on what you should NOT do to avoid further complications.
Mistake 1: Losing your temper after the car accident
It is never good to despair and lose your temper. Do not rush to accuse anyone and do not lose your cool. Impatience and anxiety do not help resolve the most immediate issues.
There are simple things that can help reduce stress and anxiety. These include: counting to ten or more, taking a series of deep breaths, remembering that the other parties involved in the car accident may be equally or more distressed than you, and talking and listening to the other party. When talking to the others affected show empathy, asking questions like: “Are you okay?” will help.
Mistake 2: Leaving the scene of the events after the accident
Stay at the scene of the accident. Never flee or leave the scene after a traffic accident. You may wonder if you can leave if the collision was minor, where there may not be great property damage or no injuries. You should not do it, even if you think the accident was not a big deal. You always have to stop, call the police, and check that the other parties involved are safe, exchange information and talk to the police, or at least make sure you file a report of what happened.
Remember: Leaving the scene of events after a traffic accident is a crime. If you are involved in an accident, stay to help other people and always wait for the police or emergency services to arrive.
Mistake 3: Not calling 911 and the police immediately.
Sometimes we consider that it is not necessary to call 911 and the police if no one was injured in an accident, this is a big mistake. You should always contact the police immediately.
It is very important that you first check if you or someone else was injured. If you are in a position to do so, be sure to move to a safer place to not obstruct traffic. If it is dark, try to turn on the lights and emergency flares and use other items such as hazard cones.
Contact 911 immediately. Everyone involved in the accident should be checked by a doctor, even if they do not appear to have serious injuries, especially since some of these injuries manifest days or weeks after the accident. A medical report will also be helpful when/if you have to go to court.
When the police arrive at the scene, speak with the officers. The police will initiate an investigation of the incident. Beyond identifying who was responsible for the car accident, it is key to have an official report from the police.
Mistake 4: Taking blame or blaming others
Remember: When talking to the police and others present, DO NOT take the blame for the accident and don’t blame the others involved either. Let the officers verify what happened after evaluating the facts. At the same time, speak with the police and your insurance company to provide them with information and facts.
Mistake 5: Forgetting to note the information of those involved
Don’t forget to ask for names, phone numbers, vehicle information, etc. of the other people involved. Exchanging information should also include obtaining driver license numbers (if the driver is driving someone else’s car, ask for the relationship and information of the owner) and insurance information.
Write down the make, model, license plate number and color of all vehicles involved. Also write down the facts right before the accident occurred, such as what you were doing, the street conditions, in which direction traffic was going, etc. Other important information that you should obtain is the information about the emergency services that attended on site, including medical and police reports. You should also obtain the names of the officers with whom you spoke and the copies of the accident reports.
If you can, talk to witnesses in the area. And take pictures of the scene after the accident. All the info and images that you collect will be very useful for the claim you submit to your insurance company and to a lawyer to help you with your case.
Mistake 6: Not contacting your insurance company
Pay attention, because, in addition to calling the authorities, you should contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. Not doing this has serious consequences, especially because you can’t start your claim until you notify the insurance company. Keep in mind that many insurers have deadlines and time limits to file a claim. So it is better to start the process immediately.
It is better to know what your insurance is willing to cover as soon as possible. Remember that you have the right to send your car to the body shop that you consider best. Once the process has begun, follow up with the insurance company. You may want to have your vehicle fixed quickly and effectively.
Mistake 7: Not taking action on what needs to be done
We know that experiencing a car accident can be traumatic and difficult. But, we also know that the main issues may arise at a later time. In some cases, this includes dealing with medical treatments, claims to the insurance company that often do not want to offer you fair compensation, and finding the right legal advice.
Mistake 8: Signing documents without consulting with a lawyer
As we have said, we know that a car accident can cause confusion. It is in these moments that we must be careful not to make the mistake of signing documents because they could be introduced as evidence throughout the process. Also, do not give information to other people, except to the police, emergency medical services, your insurance company or your lawyer.
Mistake 9: Not asking for adequate legal assistance
In the United States, each state has its laws, rules, and regulations specific to car accidents that can be complicated when filing claims and taking legal action against insurance companies. Therefore, if a lawsuit must be filed, it is important to find legal advice immediately.
In summary, after a car accident:
-Stay at the scene
-Call 911 immediately
-Don’t take the blame and/or blame others
-Collect information on everyone involved
-Notify your insurance company
-Take action of what needs to be done
-Do not sign documents without legal representation
-Consult with a lawyer
We are aware of the irreparable damage that a car accident can cause. Many of our lawyers, with experience in auto accident cases, do not only focus on the law, but they also understand the pain, confusion, and concerns of people who have gone through such a situation. They have successfully handled cases, and helped people, throughout Texas. They are professionals who can help you receive fair compensation after the accident. We make sure your rights are respected.
Contact our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers at 832-481-3427. Get in touch with us immediately so we can evaluate your case for free. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fill out a form by clicking here.
PMR Law is considered one of the Best Law Firms of America, by Rue Ratings. Several of our attorneys have been given the honor of being named Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has named our attorneys 10 Best in Client Satisfaction. Speaking of personal injury, Attorney and Practice Magazine awarded our attorneys with Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney distinctions. The National Trial Lawyers, as well as the American Academy of Attorneys, have named two of our attorneys as Top 40 Under 40. Our attorneys have been recognized as Best Attorneys of America, by Rue Ratings. PMR Law is a proud member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum.