There are certain things you definitely should do after a car accident, such as contacting your insurance company, seeking prompt medical treatment, and discussing your case with a qualified attorney. But there are other things you should not do after a car accident. A car accident can be an overwhelming experience, and it’s easy to get overcome by your stress and forget to take a necessary step, or inadvertently make the situation worse for yourself.
Last week, we detailed the steps that you should take if you’re in a car accident. Now, we’re going to look at it from the other side. Avoid these common missteps to protect yourself and your legal rights.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
A car accident can be a very upsetting experience. After a car accident, your emotions are likely running high. Do not lose your cool and become angry or upset with the other parties involved, even if the accident was their fault. Try to remain calm and see that everyone involved in the car accident gets the help they need.
Don’t Admit Fault
On the flip side, even if the accident was a result of your actions, it’s best to stay tight-lipped in the moment. You should never admit fault at the scene of a car accident or in conversation with an insurance provider afterwards. Don’t lie about what happened, but avoid saying things like, “It was all my fault”. This type of statement can be used against you later, and could lead to things being very expensive for you down the line.
Don’t Leave the Scene
The law requires anyone who has been in a car collision, whether minor or not, to immediately stop their vehicle. If you fail to do this and leave the scene of a car accident, you could be charged with a hit and run. This is a much more serious crime and can severely complicate things for you.
Never leave the scene of the accident. Call 911, and wait until police officers arrive to take a police report. If anyone needs medical assistance, police will dispatch emergency medical personnel to the scene.
Don’t Forget to Report and Document
Some people mistakenly believe that it is okay not to call 911 if nobody is hurt in a car accident. This is simply not true. If you have been involved in a car accident, regardless of how serious the accident was, call 911. A police report is needed to establish who was at fault for the accident in a subsequent lawsuit, for critical information about the car accident.
Before leaving the scene, take down as much information about the accident as possible and take photos of the scene. Get contact information of all of the parties involved. If there were witnesses, ask them to write down what they saw and their contact information. Get the time, date, and weather conditions during the accident.
Forgetting to properly document can lead to difficulty in proving what happened in court if a lawsuit is filed. Your New Mexico Auto Insurance provider will also need to know this information to better help you through the claims process.
Don’t Neglect the Aftermath
Being involved in a car accident is stressful enough, but the hard part often comes afterwards. You may have to seek medical treatment if you were hurt. You will also need to contact your insurance provider. You could even be served with legal papers.
If you neglect to follow up on these sometimes pesky tasks, things will only become worse. Speak to a New Mexico insurance agent to assist you in dealing with the aftermath of an accident.
About Daniels Insurance, Inc.
At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that businesses like yours face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.