A car accident is not anyone's ideal way to start the day, but it does happen. Imagine that you are on your way to work in Brentwood, with only one more block to go when a car comes out of nowhere and hits you. Like most people, you probably know the basic steps to take after a car wreck. Check for injuries, call the police, exchange insurance information and get witness statements.
These are the usual steps that most people know about but there are a few more things you should do in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident. Here are some other important steps you need to take after a car crash.
Admit to nothing
The police officer who responds to the scene of a car accident will typically take statements from everyone involved and write a report that indicates fault. In some cases, insurance companies will process claims based on such reports.
However, if you admit to any amount of guilt, it could completely destroy your claim for the damages. Some people have a tendency to apologize after an accident, even though it was not their fault. Do not give in to this urge. The other driver and their insurance company could interpret the apology as an admission of guilt.
Stay calm and show compassion
No matter who was at fault for the accident, you should show concern for the other drivers and passengers involved. Not only will this keep the situation from escalating, it will also work in your favor as a sign of good faith.
Do not sign unofficial documents
After a car wreck, the insurance adjusters are typically quick to descend. While you might need to sign something for your own insurance company, do not sign anything from the other driver's insurer that could potentially be used against you or used to reduce your claim. Also, be sure you are familiar with the details of your own insurance policy before you sign anything from your insurer.
Protect your identity
In the age of identity theft, it is important to take precautions to protect your personal information. Do not, under any circumstances, allow someone else to take a picture of your driver's license or car registration. In addition, do not give out your home address or too much contact information to the other driver involved in the accident or to witnesses. It is possible for an identity thief to orchestrate a minor fender bender in order to steal your personal information.
If you have been the victim of a car accident with a negligent or reckless driver, keep in mind that you have options. You might be able to file a claim for your injuries and other damages to get the compensation you deserve.