If you think you may be to blame for a car accident you may be pleased to know there are a few steps you can take that can help you defend yourself and protect your finances.
Immediately After the Accident
One of the very first things you need to do after the accident is to swap information with the other driver. You will both need the other person’s insurance details, and the sooner you get them the better. Once you’ve exchanged details you should then wait for the police to arrive. It’s important that you do not leave the scene of an accident, no matter where you were going, or how much of a hurry you were in. If you decide to leave the scene you will be committing a criminal offense, and your actions could be used against you in court.
Do not Admit Liability
Do not admit that you were at fault, even if you think you were. Do not apologize to another driver, even if you went into the rear of their car. All you need to do is ask if everyone involved in the accident is ok.
Report the accident to the police and call for medical assistance if anyone was hurt. Do not talk about what happened during the accident, even if you are accused of causing it. Simply walk away and wait for the police to arrive.
Get the Witnesses Details
Get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident, but be prepared for some people to tell you they don’t want to volunteer the information. You may also want to take a few photographs of the accident and include the damage to every vehicle that was involved. Try to take close-up photographs and panoramic ones too. If there are any skid marks on the road, yield or stop signs, potholes and traffic lights nearby, photograph them too.
The Mechanical Failure of a Vehicle
Occasionally, accidents are caused by the mechanic failure of a car that was involved in an accident. If you think your car has a fault and this fault caused the accident and the fault was not anticipated you will need to have your car fixed as soon as you can.
Please do not try to drive your car away from the scene of the accident, not only is it a criminal offense to do so but your claims about a mechanical fault will not be believed. Simply stay at the scene of the accident and have your car fixed in 2-3 days.
Contact the Police
If the police arrive at the scene of the accident you should tell them exactly how you think the accident occurred. However, try not to give them too many details and try your best not to sound guilty or defensive. Answer any questions the police ask, and do so honestly and accurately, but do not give them any information that they did not ask for.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It’s imperative that you report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible and preferably within 24 hours. You will also have to inform the department of motor vehicles if you are required by your state to do so. If you fail to report the accident to your insurance company within 24 hours of the event they may refuse your claims. You should also make sure that you tell the insurance company what happened because if they discover at a later date that you did not give them the full story or you were not truthful they may refuse your claim.
Reporting to the DMV
Your insurer will know if you are required to report the accident to your local department of motor vehicles. If you do need to let them know you should do so within 10-14 days of the event.
If another driver sustained an injury due to being involved in a car accident that may be your fault, please speak to a personal injury lawyer because they may have a personal injury claim.
If you are currently suffering from a personal injury and are unable to read ‘Think you may be to Blame for a Car Accident? Here’s what you need to do’ please watch our Injury Pedia video so you can gain the Personal Injury Information and Answers you are seeking.