Car accidents are devastating to all involved no matter how minor the accident is. In the best-case scenario, accidents are minor and there’s relatively minor damages combined with no injury. In the worst-case, there is a serious injury or even death. It’s always a frustrating and terrifying moment when you’re involved in a car accident, but it’s especially terrifying when you are the at-fault driver. In addition to wondering if you’ll be all right, if the person you hit will be all right, and what will happen next in terms of your financial situation and health, you wonder if you’ll be sued, if you’ve ruined lives, and what might happen to you. It’s confusing, and many people are unaware what to do when they cause an accident.
Q: What Not to Do?
A: Attorneys recommend you say nothing to anyone. Don’t tell the other driver or the police at the scene you were at-fault. Legally speaking, the worst thing you can do after causing an accident is admit to your fault. It’s not that you’re trying to hide anything, but you’re protecting yourself from more serious consequences. The simple truth is you shouldn’t say anything that has anything to do with fault, including apologizing to the other driver. Don’t ask them how quickly they were driving, why they didn’t see you, or even say sorry to anyone for the injuries the accident caused. Nothing that sounds at all like fault discussion should be discussed.
The only thing you should do is exchange your contact and insurance information, check to see if everyone involved is all right, and call the appropriate authorities. It’s best to stay calm and polite, and do not engage anyone in any conversation other than to exchange personal information and check for injuries. If you must, get back into your car off the road and wait for authorities.
Q: What to Do?
A: What you must do when you’re involved in an accident is take photos, gather the appropriate information, and call the police. Tell them precisely what happened during the accident, but say you caused the accident. Tell them honestly what happened and wait for them to determine the cause of the accident. They will put this information in your accident report, and you will then call your insurance company.
Q: What You do After an Accident?
A: Call an attorney with ample experience handling personal injury cases. If you caused an accident and someone else believes you’re at-fault, they might sue you. This could mean they deny the offer issued by your insurance company and sue you for more. This is why you never admit fault for an accident. With so many legal loopholes, it’s easy to deny you were the cause of an accident even when you are not. It’s a simple process, and it’s one you must never admit to. You might find that another driver sues you for damages, loss of wages, medical bills, and more. Stay quiet, let your attorney handle it, and go about getting your car repaired.
You’ll call your insurance agency and discuss with them where you should have your car towed for repairs. You’ll want them to know where your car is so they can come out and take the photos they need for their own records. Always work with your insurance company rather than around them. It’s dangerous to work around them.
File the proper accident report with the state. Another reason to call an attorney is to file the proper paperwork. Some states require an accident report is filed in addition to the report filed by the police who arrived on the scene of the accident. This is a report that must be filed very quickly, and it’s easy to forget you should do it in the pandemonium that follows an accident. Your insurance premiums will likely rise now that you’ve caused an accident, but not admitting fault can cause you to see lower rates and perhaps not end up with such a large lawsuit on your hands.
There are many things that happen when you’re at-fault for a car accident. The wisest thing you can do is call an accident attorney and let them know you have caused an accident and ask for their legal advice. It might not be as mandatory in a fender-bender, but it’s mandatory if there is someone injured in the accident or if it was a serious accident. Don’t wait to call an attorney. Your best bet is to retain legal counsel from the start so there are no missteps along the way. Your insurance, finances, and the rest of your life depend on this one phone call.