No one really sees a car accident coming. It hits you out of nowhere, and has the potential of changing your life forever.
But it helps being aware of what to do when you find yourself in a sticky situation. Awareness is half the battle won. Seeing as how common car crashes are, we are of the view that you should know as much as you can about what to do when they strike you.
You should also know what not to do, so that you don’t end up making matters worse for yourself.
Don’t Run Away
No matter how minor a car accident seems to be, do not just move on assuming everything will be alright.
In many states, including North Carolina, it’s a crime to leave the scene of an accident if the vehicle you have been driving is involved in the accident.
The law requires you to stop and check if the others involved are alright and determine the extent of damage suffered by you as well as them. You are also required to exchange driver’s details and insurance information with those involved in the collision/accident.
Furthermore, the law stipulates: “The driver shall remain with the vehicle at the scene of the crash until a law-enforcement officer completes the investigation of the crash or authorizes the driver to leave and the vehicle to be removed, unless remaining at the scene places the driver or others at significant risk of injury.”
It doesn’t matter if the accident was your fault or not. If you’re involved in a car crash, you stay at the scene unless asked to leave by a law enforcement officer.
Don’t Start Pointing Fingers
Tempers are running high just after an accident. You think someone ran into you and the accident is entirely their fault, so you are holding them responsible for all the damage and the injuries suffered by you.
It may well have been their fault but it’s not always that easy to determine. No matter how outraged you are, don’t act on it. And please don’t attack them physically.
Let the cops do their work and ring your insurer. You need to keep calm more than ever now.
Don’t Ignore Your Co-Passengers
If someone at the scene of the accident is injured or is in the need of your assistance, it’s your moral and legal duty to help them if you are in a position to do so.
But as you assist them, don’t move them around unless they are in clear danger.
Don’t Update Your Facebook Status
Or tweet something stupid for that matter, like a bloodied, bruised selfie.
Yes, that had to be said. You’d be surprised to know how many people take to social media in order to vent their feelings post-accident and in the process end up doing or saying something that comes back to bite them.
Furthermore, you never know what you said that could be used against you. You don’t want to say anything that compromises your credibility or contradicts your version of what you told the cops.
For best results, keep your thoughts to yourself, or at least don’t air them publicly.
Don’t Talk to Their Insurer on Your Own
If the accident has been the other driver’s fault, you will likely speak to their lawyer and insurer at some point; in fact, sooner than you suspect.
Whatever you do, please don’t conduct this meeting on your own.
It doesn’t matter how strong a case you think you have, or even if you are convinced you have the “truth” on your side.
These guys are professionals and know every trick in the book to make their client look as innocent as possible, pin all the blame on you, or have to pay out as little as possible to you.
If you have been in an accident, it’s best to seek legal counsel to know where you stand, your rights, and how to best protect them. Even a brief talk with any of our personal injury attorneys will prove to be very helpful for you.
Here’s hoping you never have to call on these, but if it does come to that, avoid the mistakes mentioned above so as not to inadvertently sabotage your own case.