How To Handle Yourself In The Aftermath Of A Car Accident
The time right after a car accident is crucial. While your immediate concern should be your safety and then the safety of others involved in the accident, you also need to keep an eye on the future. What you say and do after an accident can have an impact on the success of your insurance claim or court case, so let prudence rule what you say and do.
Who to Talk to
Even if everyone involved in an accident seems concerned with helping each other out, it won't be long before people's concerns switch to insurance claims and possible police citations. Thus, you need to be careful who you talk to. As much as possible, you should avoid talking to others involved in the accident both immediately after and in the time following the accident. You should of course be cooperative with the police and your insurance agent, but you should leave it up to the police and your insurance agent to deal with anyone else involved in the accident.
Even if it seems obvious to you that you caused an accident, you should avoid admitting guilt. When the police arrive on an accident, they will study the scene, talk to witnesses, and collect evidence, which they will then use to determine who was at fault for the accident. Remember that your perspective as one involved in the accident is limited. Even if your actions contributed to the accident, other factors may have played a role. Insurance companies and courts will take partial fault in an accident into consideration when determining whether you are responsible for damage to other drivers.
What to Sign
Another driver may try to use a verbal admission of guilt to their advantage when making their case in court. Some people may even try to make their case more solid by getting you to sign a written admission of guilt. While you should be as polite as possible with other drivers, you should steadfastly refuse to sign any document that does not come from the police or your insurance agent.
While it would be nice if you could trust everyone to pull for each other after an accident, the financial weight that comes crashing down after an accident can influence people to act out of self interest. Prudence dictates that you should not rush to any conclusions about who was at fault after an accident. Leave decisions about fault to your insurance company and the police and instead focus on taking care of your injuries and making sure others involved in the accident get any medical help they need.
For more information and legal assistance, contact a car accident attorney, such as those at Scherline And Associates.