The 4 Worst Mistakes You Can Make in a Car Accident
Getting into a car accident is not exactly the sort of thing you ever want to get good at, since that means you have to get a lot of practice at doing it. Still, accidents happen even to the most cautious drivers in the world, and even if you aren’t an expert at doing the right things afterwards, you should at least know the worst mistakes you can make.
1. Just Keep Driving
Driving away from an accident you were a part of is definitely the one thing you should never, ever do. Even if the accident was nothing more than a low-speed parking lot fender-bender, and even if nobody gets hurt, it’s still illegal to hit another car and flee the scene. It’s true that it is possible to get away scot-free, but if someone takes down your license plate number and tracks you down, you’ll be in for a world of civil and criminal penalties. This is especially true if someone does get hurt.
2. Touch Basically Anything
Depending on how bad the accident was, the police won’t always get directly involved. Even if the damage is severe enough to need a police report, if no one is hurt and it’s obvious who’s at fault, the police usually won’t bother showing up. However, if someone is hurt or if the drivers don’t agree who caused the accident, it’s important to avoid doing anything to alter what has just become a crime scene. You’re allowed to do things like move a car out of a traffic lane and pull injured people out of burning vehicles, but you should otherwise leave things the way they are.
3. Don’t Get the Other Driver’s Information
Not every accident involves two or more cars, but for those that do, you absolutely need to swap information to make sure that the both of you will get the compensation you deserve based on who was responsible for the accident. Not only that, but you should also make sure you copy out the information directly and not simply trust that the other driver will write out his or her license and insurance information accurately.
4. Admit Fault
This is definitely one of the biggest mistakes you could make just after a car accident, at least when you hear a lawyer talk about it. Admitting fault at the scene or just afterwards is basically asking the justice system to treat your case as open and shut, and while that may be the case if you hit a parked car or a lamppost, there may be factors in a two-driver accident that you don’t know about. As such, even if you think you’re at fault, you should avoid saying as much until you know everything that happened.
There are other things you should avoid doing if you get into an accident, such as moving an unconscious person who may have a neck injury and not going to the doctor even if you think you got away without any serious injuries. But as far as legal consequences go, the four above points are the worst mistakes you could make.
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