Car accidents aren’t uncommon. Every year, there are roughly six million of them in the United States. Unfortunately, there are a number of mistakes that drivers tend to make following collisions, and those mistakes can lead to complications in both the short- and long-term.
Get to know the most common mistakes that drivers make after these terrifying incidents. Some mistakes involve poor legal decisions, while others jeopardize their health.
Failing to Call the Police
It might seem like a hassle or even a little intimidating to get the police involved in the situation. It’s absolutely necessary though. Law enforcement officers can examine the scene, gather evidence, and then form an official report of the incident. This report will come in handy when you need to involve insurance companies or even when you have to build a case in court. What happens if you decide not to involve the police? It’s harder for both parties to prove what happened. This can have consequences when it comes to filing claims and make the entire situation a lot messier, especially if there’s a dispute over what occurred. With all that in mind, give the police a call as soon as you can.
Leaving the Area
Until the authorities arrive to examine what happened, stay put. Of course, if you have injuries that need to be treated immediately, this may not be possible. However, in less severe cases, remain near the scene. If you panic and drive away, you might later be charged with a hit and run, and this will only complicate legal matters.
Not Talking to the Other Driver
As you’re waiting for the police to show, exchange insurance information with the other driver. It might be tempting to write the collision off as a minor incident and avoid this step. However, if a problem arises later, you’ll be glad you have the driver’s information on hand. Sometimes damage to your vehicle and physical injuries aren’t immediately obvious.
Exchange the following information:
- Phone numbers
- Car make and model
- License plate number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance company and policy number
Take pictures of the scene as well. Try to collect photographic evidence from as many angles as possible.
Saying Sorry or Taking the Blame
Regardless of who was at fault, some people can’t help but apologize. Don’t say anything that might imply you were the cause of the accident. You might later discover that the other driver did something wrong. At that point, it might be too late to take back your admission of guilt.
Similarly, you might want to limit what you say the other party’s insurance provider. They’ll likely be looking for some details that indicates you’re at fault. It’s best to consult with a legal expert beforehand, especially if it seems like the situation is easy to spin in a way that paints you as the one at fault.
Sharing the News
Anytime there’s news to share, people often turn to social media. In this case, it’s best to resist that urge to share your story with the world. Don’t post images or videos on any of your accounts. Avoid going into detail. You don’t want your words to later be used against you.
Not Being Physically Examined by a Professional
As mentioned before, some injuries are difficult to notice until several days after the incident. If you’re in shock, you might not even notice a fairly obvious injury. Seek medical attention if you have reason to believe you might later experience discomfort. If you’re experiencing dizziness, tingling, or numbness, these are potential signs of an underlying injury. Don’t wait to see a doctor.
Legal Decisions Ahead
After the accident you might have even more decisions to make. For example, if you were a victim in an accident, you might feel pressure to settle the case early. Always get in contact with a Denver car accident lawyer before making any important legal decisions. You don’t want to end up settling for less than you deserve or taking the blame for someone else’s mistakes.