After a Car Accident: the Dos and Don’ts
Car accidents can be hectic for anyone involved; however, it’s important to think straight in order to stay safe and avoid any legal issues. There are a number of steps to consider, each of which can help you after a car accident.
According to State Farm, the most important thing to do is to check for injuries. If you have any doubts about your health, your passengers, or the other driver, call an ambulance just to be safe. Turn on your hazard lights, and use cones/warning triangles to signal to other drivers that there has been an accident. Also, be sure to get to a safe spot if you’re on a busy road.
Always call the police, even if an accident is minor. Even if the other driver suggests driving away, this could lead to serious issues down the road. You should also contact your insurance agent immediately.
Next, do not sign anything unless it’s from the police or your insurance agent. The police should provide you with an accident report (or information on how to get it), and the police will also determine who is at fault. Take pictures to document the accident, if possible.
Never admit fault—just state the facts. The police officer is an unbiased party who will determine who is at fault. It’s not uncommon for drivers to think they caused an accident, when in fact the other driver broke the law. Admitting fault could impel the officer to cite you.
Finally, be prepared for the possibility of a future accident. Restock flares or warning triangles, and be sure your registration is easily locatable. Always keep a pen and paper to jot down information, and carry relevant medical information on hand.