5 Things NOT To Do After A Car Accident
An auto accident can ruin your entire day. In addition to the inconvenience of missing work or an important appointment, you also have to deal with the stress of damage to your car, liability, traffic citations, and possibly injury.
The National Safety Council estimates that there were 3.8 million crashes with injuries in the U.S. in 2013.
If you’re involved in an accident, there are steps to take to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of others involved, and that everything has been properly documented for law enforcement and insurance purposes. There are also some things that you should never do after an accident. Avoid these foolish, and often illegal mistakes, and you’ll be back on the road in no time.
1. Leave the scene of the accident.
GA code 40-6-270 makes it very clear that leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense, and that if convicted, your future can be jeopardized. Stay at the scene until you have reported to the authorities, helped injured parties, and provided information to the other party.
2. Forget to call 911.
Often, we pass on calling 911 to report an accident if the involved parties aren’t hurt or if the damage doesn’t look too bad. You may feel okay right after the accident and then start to feel pain later. What happens if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance? As many as one in seven drivers don’t have car insurance! If you get into an accident what someone that does not have insurance, you’re the one that’s up the creek. Even if you don’t feel hurt or if there isn’t a lot of damage, it is always best to call local authorities, and many of them have non-emergency numbers too.
3. Lose your cool!
Your emotions are running high and you may even be injured, but it’s never a good idea to lose your cool (even if it is the other driver’s fault). When you’re dealing with the other driver, ask if they are okay. Don’t lay blame or yell at them. That’s not going to solve anything. Remember to stay calm and take some deep breaths. You need to be in a good frame of mind to assess the situation.
4. Forget proper documentation.
Now that you’ve calmly assessed the situation, don’t forget to document the accident and get the right insurance information from the other driver. You’ll need to give a consistent and accurate account of the accident to law enforcement and insurance providers.
Remember to get the other driver’s name, address, insurance company name and policy number.
Make note of the make, model, tag number, and color of the other vehicle.
If you have a camera, try to take some pictures of the crash site and damage.
If there were any witnesses, be sure to get their names and phone numbers.
5. Neglect the aftermath.
Many times, the hardest part comes after the accident. If you were injured in the accident, you need to see a doctor right away. If you think you may be facing large medical bills or if the other driver is threatening legal action against you, consult an attorney.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, contact the experienced Georgia auto accident attorneys at the Angell Law Firm. Our attorneys understand the stress an injured driver or passenger can experience due to lost wages and medical bills, and are here to help maximize the damages you deserve. For a free, confidential consultation contact our office at (770) 217-4954.