The aftermath of a car accident can be very confusing and even scary, but it is essential that you avoid making certain mistakes. After all, the actions that you take after the accident occurs can have a big impact on your ability to file a lawsuit, and you could even get into legal trouble if you fail to take the proper steps. Therefore, no matter what your first inclination is, you should always take a step back for a moment to carefully think through all of your options before you end up making a major mistake.
1. Never Leave the Scene
If you leave the scene of an accident without contacting the police or at least exchanging information with the other driver, you could be arrested for a hit-and-run. Unfortunately, this will lead to several legal complications, regardless of whether or not you were the driver who caused the accident. In fact, some states take such a harsh stand against hit-and-run drivers that you could automatically lose your license for several months. Therefore, you must always remain on the scene after an accident until the proper authorities have been notified.
2. Never Sign without Legal Counsel
Attorneys, like those at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, suggest that it’s a really bad idea to sign a waiver or any other documentation without speaking to legal counsel unless you are absolutely certain that you know what you are doing. After all, if you sign a waiver that stipulates that you are giving up your legal right to sue the other driver, then you will have to take care of all of the costs that are associated with medical treatment and the damage to your vehicle.
3. Never Agree to Not Call the Police
It is important to call the police unless you are in a minor fender bender that does not cause damage to your vehicle. Many insurance companies will not cover your claim if you fail to get a police report, so you have to contact the police unless you are willing to pay for everything yourself. It is especially vital to get the police involved if you have any reason to suspect that the other driver is intoxicated. After all, if you agree to let them go and they end up seriously hurting or killing another person, you will have to deal with guilt for the rest of your life. It is even possible that you could get into legal trouble for failing to provide the police with information that could have gotten a drunk driver off of the road.
4. Never Refuse Needed Medical Attention
If an ambulance appears on the scene, it is important to let an EMT examine you. Many people who are injured during a car accident are unaware at first because they have so much adrenaline flowing through their body, but an EMT should be able to determine if you are truly okay or if you need additional medical assistance.
As long as you keep these important pointers in mind, it should be easy to properly respond to an accident. It is also a good idea to contact an attorney if you were injured in the accident. Either way, you need to make sure that you respond to the event in a way that will not have a negative impact on your legal rights.
Anthony Joseph is a freelance writer and editor. Legal representation from attorneys like those found at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene
can make the difference between a horrible accident and an accident fully recovered from, and seeking just compensation after a vehicle accident is best done with the help of competent, experienced, and passionate legal advocates. Their professional and compassionate practices will help put you at ease throughout the necessary, post accident, recovery period.