Car Accident? Don’t Ever do this!
Car accidents are hugely stressful events. This is why, when they happen to us, we can react badly and make some mistakes, which can then get us into trouble or mean we don’t have as strong a case when making a car accident claim.
If you’re involved in a car accident, there are a few things you shouldn’t do.
After an accident, you have to stop. This is the law. No matter how minor you think the accident was, you’re required to stop your car and deal with what happened – even if you don’t think any damage was caused.
If you can, pull over somewhere safe. Switch off your car’s engine and check that any passengers in your car are okay. Get out and go check on how the other driver is doing, but there’s something you absolutely shouldn’t do when talking to them.
Regardless of whose fault the collision was, you should never apologise to someone else at the scene of the accident. This can be construed as admitting liability – and even if you aren’t, the other party can use this in their defence further down the line.
If you apologise, it could negatively affect your chances of getting the maximum amount of compensation when making a claim. Just keep your conversation focused on whether anyone is injured and make sure to swap your contact details – you don’t want them to leave without taking their name, contact info and insurance details.
Neglect to call the police
Don’t decide not to call the police. And don’t let the other driver convince you not to do so. A police report is an invaluable asset in an insurance or compensation claim so getting one can be one of the most important things you do after an accident.
If it’s a more serious accident, call an ambulance too. You may not be immediately aware of the injuries you’ve sustained. Whiplash, for instance, can take a day or two to show any symptoms. Let the professionals decide whether everyone is okay – and don’t argue if they recommend a trip to the hospital to check you over thoroughly.
Not take pictures
Photos can provide some of the most compelling and convincing evidence in any case following a road accident. After a collision, make sure you take as many photos of the damage caused to your vehicle – and the others involved.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to ensure your phone is charged and your camera works properly. You never know when you’re going to be caught up in an incident like a car accident. You should also get the contact details of any witnesses so any pictures they’ve taken can also help your case.
Don’t get caught by a staged accident
Although you can’t control the actions of others, you can help to protect yourself from staged accidents. With so many unscrupulous drivers out there, it’ll pay to do what you can to stop this happening to you.
A dash cam will help prove your side of the story, particularly if the accident involved you rear-ending their car. You should also be wary of anyone seemingly doing a good deed by waving you through or into their lane. They may rapidly speed up and hit your car, then claiming they had the right of way and you were the one at fault.
Lose your cool
The worst thing you can do when you’re involved in a car accident is lose your cool and take out your anger and frustration on the other driver. Apart from diminishing any credibility if you decide to go ahead with a claim, it could land you in hot water.
It’s best to take a few breaths before you get out of your car and approach the situation with level-headed patience. The other driver may let their emotions get the better of them so it may fall to you to calm things down. Try to stay reasonable and let the authorities deal with the fallout.