A car accident is always a time of uncertainty, and often pain and fear. Do you know what to do after a car accident your fault? Follow these five quick tips to ensure you’re rights are protected.
If you’ve been in an accident, and you’re pretty sure it’s your fault, there are several things to keep in mind immediately after the accident.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
Right after an accident can be a confusing time, and many people aren’t sure what to do. You and your passengers may be hurt, and you’re worried about your safety and the condition of your car. However, anything that you say and do after the accident can affect your case, if it comes to that, as well as any liability on your part.
1. Stay Put
While you may need to move your vehicle out of traffic, it’s important that you stay at the scene. The proper emergency response teams can treat car accident injuries, and these may not be readily apparent. Plus, if you do leave the scene of the accident, then you may be charged with fleeing the scene, or a “hit and run.”
2. Stay Calm
It’s probably hard to remain calm when you’ve just been involved in a wreck, but now is not the time to start yelling or casting blame. The more you’re able to remain calm, the better you’ll be able to remember the events surrounding the crash and give a statement.
3. Contact the Authorities
You should always call 911 after an accident, even if it just looks like a fender bender. The police report goes a long way towards establishing fault after a wreck, plus, not reporting an accident may be against the law in your municipality. In addition to having a police report on file, many car accident injuries may not be immediately visible, especially those that affect the neck and spine. Emergency responders are trained to identify these kinds of injuries and can make sure that everyone involved gets the proper treatment.
4. Collect evidence and statements
If you can take photos of the accident, do so. You may also wish to gather the names of witnesses to the crash, to give them to the police. Document license plates of cars nearby, the weather conditions, and the traffic conditions. The more information that you have about the crash, the better able your lawyer will be able to protect you. Don’t forget to get the other party’s insurance and driver’s license information, too.
5. Never admit fault
Even if you are pretty sure that you caused the accident, it’s imprinted not to apologize. This can be difficult, but saying “I’m sorry,” can be construed by an admission of guilt by the other party’s lawyer.
When Should I Call My Insurance Company?
You should contact your insurance company right away. Your policy may have requirements in place as to how long you have to report the accident. If you don’t report the accident within that time frame, then your policy may be void. Your insurance company may also be able to help you work through what you need, paperwork-wise, to file a claim.
An Attorney Can Help You Understand What to Do After a Car Accident That Was Your Fault
It’s always important to secure legal representation after a car accident. Even if you think you’re at fault, having legal representation can help you avoid charges for reckless driving or worse and help reduce the chances that you’ll be held personally liable for the wreck. Your insurance company should cover the costs in the case of an accident, even if you were at fault, but your car accident lawyer can make sure that the insurance company cooperates.
The legal system, and navigating through the court system after a wreck can be challenging for people who aren’t familiar with the way things work. Besides that, insurance companies wish to pay as little as possible for a settlement, and your coverage may not be enough to pay for replacing your car and other people or medical bills after the fact. The other party may have a lawyer of their own, too, who will be representing them. You can’t do it alone – a lawyer who has experience fighting personal injury cases can help you and walk you through what to do after a car accident your fault. We can offer a free consultation to help you understand more about what kind of case you have.