It is good to have a car and it seems even better to drive it. There is a somewhat good feeling that comes with driving. But as you get behind the wheels, there are eventualities you do not hope for, and it is best if you will prepare for it. One of such is a car accident. There are three major causes of road crashes, namely: human factor, environmental factor and mechanical factor. In some situations, there is a combination of these factors.
Cars are machines that could go bad when least expected. For instance, a burst tire could lead to an accident just as a sudden faulty brake could lead to a crash. But if it is not fatal and you have a valid insurance, the headache should not be as severe. In the event of a car accident, most people know the things they should do, but do they know the things they should not do? Let us run through some together.
Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
In the event of a car accident, do not make the mistake of leaving the scene of the crash. There are some States in the US that insist that in the event of a crash which involves injury or death to any of the parties involved, the other party should not leave the scene. It is advisable that once a car crash occurs, you call 911 and wait until the police arrive at the scene and do a proper filing of the report of the accident. There have been horror stories of people who got heavy fines and their offenses are that they just left the scene of the accident. An example is the reported case of a driver who only got freed after a $11,000 bail bond was paid and that is simply because they left the scene of the accident. The said driver, a woman reportedly of about 36 years old presumably fled because she has multiple recorded traffic violations in the past and was in 2007 convicted for DUI. It is advised that you should still stay in the accident scene even if you are not fatally injured. You do not want to look guilty in an accident that you didn’t cause to happen.
Another mistake you should not make is being so much in a hurry to get out of the accident scene that you forget to document the accident. Do all in your power to document the accident; fill in relevant details. Deploy technology to capture the incident. Take information of the day, time, names of those involved and of course their insurance companies. You do not want to go fixing your car when you are not at fault. Someone else should pay for it and if the culprit has insurance, it would be better.
Do Not Hesitate to Call the Police
Another mistake some people make is ignoring the obvious call for 911. They think if there is no serious injury or death to anyone, why call the police with their alarm bells? The presence of the police on site will help in providing a comprehensive report detailing road conditions, names and contact information of witnesses, and an official dossier of how the accident occurred. This will come in handy in the event of a lawsuit. It is better to tell the story from your own perspective before someone tells it as perceived by him.
Do Not Be Angry
No one likes an accident but if it happens, there is nothing that can be done to reverse it. Hence, why cry over spilt milk? In the event of a car accident, do not lose your cool. Take a chill pill and calm down. An accident is not the time to start fighting with other people at the site of the crash, it is the time to look around and ensure everyone involved gets the help they require. You do not want to be the reason why someone gets fatally injured or dies. When everyone is hale and hearty, you can press the charges that will get your car fixed or replaced. That is if you are not the one at fault.
Do Not Be Excessive in Your Account
I will not teach you to lie but you might have to be economical with the truth if you really want your insurance to live up to their mettle by fixing or replacing your car, especially if you are at fault. In giving the story, avoid an indicting statement like ‘I messed up; it was my entire fault’. Your insurance company would be happy to hear that as it would mean that they will be paying little or nothing as an insurance claim. You have to give detailed information that will be needed by relevant agencies but you must keep the ‘gory’ details to yourself, especially if it is your fault.
Do Not Take Your Health For Granted
Another pitfall you need to avoid in the event of an accident is neglecting the aftermath. Go to the hospital to have yourself checked and also involve your lawyer to interface with your insurance company.
Do Not Engage the Company Directly
If you were not at fault, it means the other party was and that means correspondence with their insurance firm for claims. Try not to connect with the company directly; let your lawyer do it. You can only complain but he can hold them by the scruff of the neck, sorry, law.
Do Not Settle For Half-Hearted Agreement
Finally, do not settle for a half-hearted agreement with the insurance company. It is very likely that they would try to short-change you by offering just a pittance. At this juncture, you might have to engage the services of a car accident lawyer who would see if you are getting the fair treatment and settlement. While I wish you safe cruise, do not fall into these pits in the unfortunate event of a car crash.