A car accident closely resembles a crime scene. The collision may not be intentional or pre-meditated, but there are certain dynamics to follow or else someone may end up at the wrong end of the tale. Well, in truth, anyone involved in a car crash is on the losing end due to the damages incurred to the car or the well-being of the drivers. So to lessen the casualty, here are 3 things you should never do if you are in a car accident.
Do not leave the premises (hit-and-run)
Even if your vehicle only had minuscule damage or if you think that you can personally take care of repair costs without claiming for insurance, thou shall never leave the car crash premises as if nothing happened. Depending on the damage and local regulations, fleeing an accident scene may be classified as either misdemeanor or felony. The former will be punished with some fines subject to the gravity of property damage. Meanwhile felony, which involves injury to a person, or much worse death, warrants heavier penalties from 10,000 USD to long-term incarceration.
Giving due diligence is a professional and humane treatment of the situation. Think of it in reciprocity. If you were the victim, you would not wish for the other driver to leave you hanging. Plus, with the ever improving technology nowadays, there is a bigger chance that you will be apprehended soon and that may lead to heftier consequences. As much as you can, provide assistance to injured individuals or participate in information gathering.
Do not admit liability
Apologizing for the accident is akin to taste-testing a poisoned drink. You think you are helping with clearing up things, but in truth, you are putting yourself in a worse setup. Gaudily saying you are at fault might beget further legal sanctions. Simply give honest eye-witness accounts when asked by the police. The insurance company will be the one to decide on the liability pursuant to the insurance policies being enforced in your contract or in the state.
Never lose your temper during the accident. It may solicit biased opinions and ill reputation of your side. Be respectful and establish a fair relationship with the other involved drivers.
Do not discuss settlement directly
Have your lawyer address everything. Do not transact directly with the other drivers or to their respective insurance agents. Aside from the initial information you gathered from them such as contact details and vehicle and insurance information, let your attorney do all the talking.
Never accept settlements directly from the other drivers or their insurers prematurely. Insurance companies tend to provide low estimates initially. Take time and do your research together with your lawyer. Emotional stress may also lead you to accept arrangements rashly. Thoroughly reflect on everything that occurred and, if possible, repeat inspecting your vehicle for additional damages you may have not noticed previously. That should help you see your position in terms of accepting settlements.
Handling a car accident requires a cautious yet benevolent personage. The 3 things you should never do if you are in a car accident are to hit-and-run, admit fault and discuss settlements directly with other parties. Save yourself all the trouble and apply them the next time you encounter such mishap.