Being involved in a car accident can ruin our day and even become one of the most difficult moments of our lives and that of our loved ones. All drivers can get involved in a car accident, at least once in our lives. After a fact of this type, there are steps that we must follow to guarantee our safety and that of the others affected. However, there are also some things we should never do, and we will see in this post .
We are aware of the irreparable damage that a car accident can cause and how difficult it is to recover for many of the victims and their families. Many of our bilingual attorneys, with extensive experience in auto accident cases, not only focus on the laws, but also understand the pain, confusion and concerns of people who have gone through such a situation. They have successfully handled various cases throughout the country helping thousands of people. And they are professionals who can help you receive fair compensation, recover what you are entitled to and have your rights respected.
It is important to be prepared, to know what we can do and not make mistakes after a car accident. Therefore, here are some tips on what NOT to do to avoid further complications.
Error 1: Losing your calm after the car accident
It is never good to despair and lose calm, especially when interacting with other drivers and people involved in the event. Do not rush to accuse anyone and do not scream either. The impatience and anxiety do not help solve the most immediate issues or think clearly.
There are simple resources that can help us reduce stress and anxiety, such as: count to ten or more, take a series of deep breaths, remember that the other parties involved in the car accident are as or more distressed than you, talk and listen to the other. When you talk to the others affected, show empathy and ask kind questions such as, “Is that okay?”
Error 2: After a car accident, leave the scene of the events
Stay in the place and at no time flee or leave the scene after a traffic accident. Maybe you wonder: but, can I leave if the collision was slight, there is no great damage and no injuries? You must not do it. Even if you think that the accident was not a big deal, you always have to stop, call the emergency service, check that the other parties are well, exchange information and talk with the police, or at least be in charge of reporting what happened.
Remember: Withdrawing from the scene of the events after a traffic accident is a crime. We suggest you stay until the paramedics, the police and the others affected leave.
If you are involved in an accident, stay also to help other people. Something you would appreciate that others do for their sake and that of their loved ones, right? Also, if you do not, you could be arrested.
Error 3: Do not immediately call emergency services such as 911 and the authorities
Sometimes we consider that if nobody was injured in an accident, it is not necessary to call the emergency services and the police to report what happened and ask for help. Know that this is a big mistake and you should always contact the authorities immediately.
It is very important that you first check if you have any injuries, and if someone was injured. If you are able to do so, be sure to move to a safer place so as not to hinder traffic. And if it is night, try to turn on the lights and emergency flares and use other elements such as cones.
When leaving your vehicle, do it very carefully. Immediately contact emergency services to request medical assistance. All people involved in the accident should see a doctor, even if they do not seem to have serious injuries, because some of them manifest themselves days or weeks after the events. A medical report, in addition, will be of great help when you go to court. Therefore, do yourself and yours a favor, and be sure to call 911 .
For its part, the police will initiate an investigation of the incident. Beyond who has been responsible for the car accident , it is essential to have an official report from the authorities because it can also be of great help. When the police arrive at the scene, collaborate with the officers, take note of the names of the agents and the patrol number, and ask where you can get a copy of the report.
Error 4: Assuming guilt and blaming others
Remember: When you talk to the authorities and others present DO NOT take the blame for the incident. And do not blame the others involved. Let the officers verify what happened after evaluating the evidence of the facts. Yes, collaborate with the police and your insurance company providing information on the facts.
Error 5: Forget taking the data of those involved
What else do you have to do? Do not forget to get and document the names, phone numbers, vehicle information, among other information, of the other people involved. When we talk about data we also refer to: information about driver’s licenses (if someone does not own the car, ask for the owner’s relationship and information) and their insurance information. Write down the make, model and color of all the vehicles. Also record the facts before the accident, such as what you did, how the street was, what direction you were going, etc. Other important information that you must obtain is the data of the emergency services that attended in the place, medical and police reports. It is essential that you obtain the names of the authorities with whom you spoke and the copies of the reports linked to the accident.
If you can, talk to witnesses in the area. And take pictures of the scene of how your car was and the scene after the accident. All the data and images that you register will be very useful for the claim you will present to your insurance company, future investigations and for when you contact a specialist lawyer to help you with your case.
Error 6: Not contacting your insurance company
Pay attention, because in addition to calling the authorities, remember that yes or yes you have to contact your agent or insurance broker as soon as possible to tell you what happened. Not doing this has serious consequences. Because if you stop notifying the insurance company it will be difficult to start with the claim you will present to the company. Keep in mind that many insurers have deadlines and time limits to file a claim, so it is best to start the process immediately. It is better to know what your own insurance is willing to cover as soon as possible. And remember that you have the right to send your car to the repair shop that you consider best. Once the process has started, follow up with the insurance company. It is likely that you want to resolve this quickly and effectively.
Error 7: Do not follow up on what needs to be done
We know that experiencing a car accident can be traumatic and difficult. But, we also know that the challenge comes later. Why? Because as affected many times we must perform (or ensure that they are made) a series of steps, which we have already named mostly in the post above. And also take care of what needs to be solved. In some cases this includes: dealing with medical treatments, with claims to the insurance company that often do not want to offer a fair solution, and find the right legal advice.
Error 8: Sign doubtful documents
As we have been saying, we know that an accident can cause confusion. It is in these kind of moments that we must be careful not to make the mistake of signing documents or papers that we should not because they could become engaged in the future. Also, do not give information to other people, except for the police, emergency medical services, your insurance company or your lawyer.
Error 9: Do not ask for the right legal assistance
In the United States, each place has its laws *, specific rules and regulations around automobile accidents that can be complicated when presenting claims to insurance companies and, if necessary, take legal action against the negligent party to collect the money of the corresponding compensations. Therefore, in the event that you have to file a lawsuit, it is important to find legal advice immediately. In a previous article we tell you what questions you can ask a lawyer before hiring him.
In short, after a car accident:
- Keep calm
- Stay in the place of events
- Call 911 immediately
- Do not assume guilt and blame others
- Take note of the data of all involved
- Notify your insurance company
- Take charge of what needs to be done
- Do not sign dubious documents
- Consult a lawyer
Know that you are not alone: at abogados.com we offer you a free consultation. Our team speaks Spanish, and you will listen to what happened to evaluate your legal options. Just call us by phone or fill out our online form , and we will be happy to assist you.