First Reactions After a Car Accident: Do's & Don'ts

Posted on: 21 November 2014

A majority of people lose their car accident cases even with the best lawyers on their side because of their first reactions after occurrence of the accidents. After your involvement in a car accident, the way you handle the situation in the first few minutes will have a significant impact on the outcome of the case.

Even though it is important, contacting a car accident lawyer is not a crucial step in your first reactions, but the following steps are crucial.

What You Should Do Immediately After an Accident

1. Protect the Accident Scene

Use emergency flashers or flares to notify other drivers that you are in a scene of accident and that they should drive around you. Failure to do so may welcome endless honking and persistent shouting from infuriated drivers.

2.Contact the Authority

Call the police or have someone else in the car make the call. An officer will make a report based on the facts observed at the scene. A police report can help your lawyer afterwards when filing a lawsuit or during settlement negotiations. The officer may also assist with the exchange of information between you and the other party.

Remember to make accurate records when answering to the investigating officer. If you are not sure you sustained injuries, just say so instead of speculating. Some injuries may surface hours or even days after the collision. 

3. Record the Accident Scene

For future reference, take pictures or record a video of the accident scene. It boosts your evidence collection and may help your lawyer in court when the opposing council makes false accusations against you.

4. Notify Your Insurer

Most insurers allocate time frames for reporting of accidents. You may therefore risk losing your compensation package by withholding the information for a long period of time after occurrence of the accident.

What You Should Not Do

1. Do Not Drive Away

Never drive or run away from an accident scene. Driving away hints that you are guilty even if you are innocent.

2. Do Not Accept Direct Payment

No matter how sweet the deal may sound, do not accept a direct settlement offer. Go on and report the accident to your insurer because there is no guarantee that the other party will not report if you fail to report.

3. Do Not Argue With The Other Driver

It is for your own interest to keep quiet until an officer arrives at the scene. If you must talk, avoid arguing with the other party and choose your words carefully. Otherwise, your words may come back to bite you later.

Contact a car accident law firm such as McMenamin & McMenamin, PS when the issue goes to court or when you are experiencing problems with your insurer. Fortunately, you and your lawyer will have an easy time winning the case if you reacted properly after the occurrence of the accident.