The 6 Worst Things You Can Do After a Car Accident

Posted in Car Accidents on May 8, 2017.

Being involved in a car accident in Alabama is stressful, even if you are the level-headed type. Under intense stress, we may do or say things we regret later on. The truth is, Alabama car accidents are so common we’ll probably all be involved in one in our lifetime. Whether you’re in a minor fender bender or a head-on collision, here is what not to do after your car accident.

  1. Don’t Panic.

In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy for the situation to degenerate into chaos, dramatically increasing your stress level. While car accidents are scary, frantic behavior won’t help the situation. Instead of having a full-blown panic attack, take a couple of deep breaths and compose yourself. Once you’ve recovered from the initial shock, check to make sure your passengers and the people in the other vehicle are okay. Call emergency medical services and the police.

  1. Don’t Admit Fault.

Some of us have a natural inclination to apologize, but it’s not helpful to your claim in a car accident. Even saying something as simple as “I’m sorry,” can imply fault, so avoid saying anything apologetic. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be polite to the other driver. Instead of apologizing, ask the other driver if they are okay. Even if you think you were at fault, don’t say anything or sign any paperwork without consulting an attorney.

  1. Don’t Call Family Instead of the Police

Whether your husband is a mechanic, or you’re simply in need of moral support, it can be tempting to call family first after a car accident; but this isn’t productive. Family members won’t be able to help you in the moment, only the police and medical professionals can. Summon the authorities to the scene and save your personal calls for after emergency services and the police arrive. Family members are good for a ride home – but not for writing an incident report.

  1. Don’t Post on Social Media

Social media is good for a lot of things – connecting with old friends, sharing funny articles or tidbits – but it’s not a good place to post about your accident. People don’t always realize that social media is public domain, and anything you say can be used against you. An insurance company may even use your social media accounts to deny a claim, especially one for pain and suffering. So don’t tweet out your car accident – if you want to talk about it, do it in person.

  1. Don’t Skimp On Your Insurance Coverage

It may be tempting to save a few dollars each month by lowering your insurance coverage, but this may only end up costing you more in the long run. Make sure you have enough coverage to pay for medical bills in a potentially catastrophic accident. Talk to your insurer about appropriate levels of coverage based on your budget, vehicle type, and additional needs.

  1. Don’t Leave the Scene Without All the Necessary Information

After an accident, we know you’ll want to be home and curled up on your couch as soon as possible. On the other hand, it’s unwise to leave the scene without everything you need to make a claim with your insurance provider. Make sure you get all the information you can, including:

  • The contact information of the police officer on the scene.
  • Pictures of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles, the other driver’s license plate, and any conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
  • Insurance information from the other driver.

Your reaction after a car accident may impact your insurance or personal injury claim. Follow these tips (and review our post-accident checklist of things you should do) to ensure the smoothest process possible.