Top 10 Things NOT To Do After A Car Wreck
New Braunfels Car Accident Attorney
In the moments after a car wreck, it is understandable for you to be confused, disoriented and overwhelmed. The chaos of an accident scene can make it easy for you to make a mistake that could inadvertently impact your ability to collect compensation for any injuries you have sustained. Following a crash, there are a number of things you should do as well as some that you should not.
If you have been involved in a car wreck:
- Do not leave the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident may open you up to criminal prosecution. Additionally, there are many details that require your attention at the scene, and, if you leave, your ability to tell your side of the story and obtain the other driver’s information will be compromised.
- Do not “keep it between us.” You may be tempted to skip calling the police or notifying your insurance company about the accident. While filing a police report may seem like an unnecessary hassle, it is important to create a legal record of the accident. The responding officer may be able to uncover details about the crash that might have been missed by trying to handle the situation on your own.
- Do not get angry. You may be very upset and unsettled, but it is crucial to keep your emotions in check following a crash. Anger toward the other driver will not help you maintain control of the situation. Instead, it could escalate an already difficult situation into a much more contentious one.
- Do not admit fault or apologize. As you get out of your call following a crash, your instinct may be to try to soothe the other driver by saying you are sorry and acknowledging that it was your fault. Even if you believe your actions or negligence did cause the wreck, there may have been a number of other contributing factors you did not know about. By admitting fault, you may inadvertently prevent an investigation that could have decreased or absolved your responsibility.
- Do not withhold your information. Admitting fault is not advisable, but you should be willing to provide your identification and insurance information to the other driver and the police when requested. Refusing to do so could result in unnecessary delays in completing paperwork and receiving compensation.
- Do not refuse medical attention. If paramedics are dispatched to the scene, allow them to evaluate you for potential injuries, and if they suggest that you go to the hospital, you should go. While many crash-related injuries may not be evident immediately, refusing medical attention could negatively affect your credibility if symptoms develop later.
- Do not make a statement to an insurance company. Reporting the crash to your insurance company is one thing, but making a statement about how it happened is not a good idea – at least not until you have spoken to a lawyer who can provide guidance.
- Do not forget to document the scene. You should take pictures of both vehicles involved in the wreck and any damage to the vehicles. Write down as many details about the wreck as you can recall. In the hours and days following an accident, your memory may not be as clear as it is immediately after the incident.
- Do not accept a fast settlement. If the other driver was at fault, you might be offered a quick settlement that limits your ability to collect additional compensation down the road. Be wary of any settlement and do not sign anything without proper representation.
- Do not attempt to handle the situation on your own. The aftermath of a car crash requires the knowledge and skill of an experienced personal injury attorney. A qualified lawyer will ensure that you are treated fairly by the insurance companies and receive just compensation for your injuries.
If you have been involved in a car accident, contact our office right away to get the assistance you need. Call 830-443-9193 for a free consultation with The Bettersworth Law Firm. We serve clients in New Braunfels, Comal County, Seguin, San Antonio, Austin and throughout Central Texas.