Car accidents happen so suddenly that many people struggle with their reactions during and immediately following the collision. It is easy to let your emotions get the best of you, but try your best to keep a cool head and avoid doing these five things.
1. Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
If you are in a car accident of any type, always stay at the scene. Drivers who leave can be prosecuted as “hit and run drivers” even if the accident isn’t their fault. It is important to stop and assess the circumstances, even if you think there is no damage or injury to either vehicle or driver.
2. Do Not Place Blame
When you are experiencing stress and emotion, it can feel natural to apologize. Do not do this. Admission of guilt to the other driver could be used against you in any legal claim, and will also complicate interactions with insurance. You should also avoid placing blame on the other driver. You can keep the situation calm until a formal evaluation can be made by avoiding any sort of accusation. Instead, ask if the other driver is alright and focus on calling the police or exchanging contact and insurance information.
3. Do Not Fail to Collect Evidence
Especially in today’s world, photos and videos play an important role in determining who or what caused a car accident. Take photos and video of your vehicle’s damage, as well as the state of any other vehicles involved in the collision. If there are witnesses on the scene, communicate with them and encourage them to stay to make a statement to the police. If you are able to, consider also making a recorded statement on the scene while your memory is fresh. This can be used by your insurance company later on.
4. Do Not Ignore Injuries
Following a car accident, go to the hospital to get evaluated for injuries. Being able to walk away from the collision does not mean you are necessarily injury-free. Many car accident victims feel pain weeks later, and it’s best to get checked out immediately. Delayed treatment or a lack of medical records can weaken your insurance claim.
5. Do Not Sign Anything
Avoid signing anything from the other driver or an insurance adjuster without first consulting with an attorney. Too many people decide to represent themselves in car accident claims and do not realize how complicated it can be. Take the time to find a quality accident attorney to represent you.
Are You in Need of Assistance With Your Virginia Car Accident Claim?
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s not too late to get the right help you need. Contact us today for your free car accident consultation. We have the experience and expertise to navigate this difficult process while you focus on healing.