What Not to do After Your Car Accident

Even a minor car accident can be enough to shake a person up. An accident with major injuries and multiple vehicles involved can be even more disorienting. In the chaos that follows, it can be hard to keep your head and remember what needs to be done. This article will give you a few pointers on the major things you should avoid in the aftermath of any accident.



1. Do not leave the scene.


Once an accident has taken place, you need to stay on the scene, so the police can take details of the accident so they can file a report later.

You might be a little shaken up after the accident. Most people are. But it’s important to remain calm at these times and make sure to cooperate with the police as much as possible.

At best, leaving the scene of the accident will look bad in court. At worst, it can lead to criminal charges. The police need to prepare their report and get the official process moving. If your case goes to court, anything that happens in this period can have serious effects later on.



2. Do not apologize for the accident.


You might think this is a silly thing to mention in a list like this, but it can be extremely important. Some people are raised to be very polite, and in a nervous moment might apologize for an accident—whether or not they believe they were at fault.

If you don’t think the accident was your fault, don’t apologize. If you do think the accident was your fault, still don’t apologize. Apologizing for the accident can be taken as an admission of fault, whether it’s intended to be or not.

It’s not your job to determine fault. Let the police do that job.


3. Do not ignore any signs of an injury.


There are two major reasons not to ignore any signs of an injury: one medical, one legal.

The medical reason is that you don’t know how badly you’ve been injured until you’ve been examined by a medical professional. A serious injury may only show minor symptoms. It’s a good idea to get yourself checked out, even if you don’t show signs of an injury.

The legal reason for not ignoring signs of an injury is that it’s important to get your injuries on record as close to the time of the accident as possible. Otherwise it may be difficult for you to prove that you received the injuries in the accident.


4. Do not assume an insurance company will offer you what you deserve.


The insurance companies are in business for themselves. It’s in their interests to offer you as little as they can possibly get away with. The insurance company’s representatives are trained to ask questions that will lead you to inadvertently devalue your claim.

For these and many other reasons, it’s a good idea to talk to a trusted attorney before you talk to any representatives from the insurance company. An experienced attorney will know how to deal with the insurance companies and help you not fall victim to their tactics.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, talk to an attorney you can trust. Many attorneys offer a free consultation, so even if you ultimately decide not to sue, you can take the opportunity to consider your options. At the very least, a skilled attorney will be able to tell you whether or not you should accept any settlement the insurance company may have offered you.


From the Author: Help After a Car Crash