If you’ve been in a car accident for the first time, you might be tempted to let the panic sink in. But with panic often comes mistakes, and the last thing you need after a car crash is a mistake that interferes with your insurance claim and legal proceedings.
Avoiding mistakes after an accident is critical. That’s why we visited the website of Bronx auto accident attorney, Diamond Injury Law, to learn about the top mistakes to avoid after being in a car crash.
5 Things Not To Do After a Car Accident
Read on to learn what not to do after getting involved in a car accident.
Leave the Scene
The worst thing you can do after a car accident is to leave the scene without reporting it or sticking around to speak to the other people involved and the police.
According to the state of New York, anyone who leaves the scene of an accident without reporting (if capable of doing so) can be charged with a fine of up to $250 and/or a prison sentence of up to 15 days.
The charges only increase if someone was physically hurt due to the accident. Never flee the scene of a car accident. Wait for law enforcement and emergency personnel to arrive and speak to officers before leaving.
Despite any guilt you may feel about a car crash, you should never admit guilt on the scene. Doing so can pose the perfect opportunity for an insurance provider to blame you. Even a simple apology can count as a type of admission of guilt.
Stick to the facts and try to say as little as possible when answering police questions until you can contact a car accident lawyer.
Fail to Collect Evidence
One of the most critical parts of the legal proceedings following an accident will involve factual information. The more information you can gather, the better your chance of proving fault and collecting due payments.
After an accident, never forget to take several pictures of the scene and the vehicles involved. It’s also vital to collect the name, address, telephone number, driver’s license, and insurance information of the other parties involved.
Additionally, speak to the officer on the scene and give as much detail as possible about what happened so they can record it all on file while the event is fresh in your mind.
Do not accept any type of check or payment before you talk to a legal expert about your accident. The other party involved in the accident may verbally offer to pay off your damages, but there is nothing legally binding them to follow through.
Likewise, an insurance company, whether your own or the other party’s, may try to offer you some kind of payment. It’s crucial to speak to legal counsel first to understand what you’re entitled to and not accept anything less.
Speak to Other Parties’ Insurance Adjusters
It’s an insurance adjuster’s job to settle incidents such as car accidents while paying you as little money as possible. By speaking to another driver’s adjuster, you could say something that they might use against you in their claim.
The best thing you can do is contact a legal team before talking to an adjuster – even an adjuster from your own insurance company. You have no obligation to talk to an adjuster before you speak to legal counsel.
Car accidents happen every day, and in the heat of the moment, it can be easy to forget the correct legal steps to take – especially if this is your first accident. If you’ve been in a car accident, this guide can help you avoid common mistakes that lead to smaller insurance payouts and unfair penalties.