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What not to say or do after a car accident

Being in a car accident can cause a variety of emotions, with anger and frustration being a very common feeling in victims of car accidents. However, immediately after a car accident it is best to stay calm and not say impulsive things or accusations since car accidents can result in legal action against you or the insurance company.

Most drivers know a few key steps to take after being in a car accident, like making sure everyone is safe and if medical attention is required along with getting the other driver's insurance information. While these are very important steps to take after a car accident, many drivers are unaware of the things they should not immediately do after a car accident.

Since most car accidents will mean contacting your insurance company, it is best to keep yourself as calm and collected as you can be to avoid any further stress down the road when working with the insurance company. 

To prevent harming your insurance claim or providing evidence for a potential civil lawsuit, below is a list of things you should not do after being in a car accident:

  • Don't leave the scene: leaving the scene of a car accident is a crime and you could face felony charges for not waiting for police or responders to show up at the scene. Leaving the scene could also make the driver look more responsible for the accident or that he or she may be trying to hide that they were impaired before the accident.
  • Don't apologize: apologizing to the other driver after an accident can be considered an admission of liability for causing the accident and it could impact a case against you by the other driver and their insurance company.
  • Don't scream or become threatening: yelling or threatening the other driver involved in the accident could lead to possible charges that could harm your insurance claim.
  • Don't talk to the other driver's insurance company or attorney unless they contact you first. In that case, it is best to have them speak to your own attorney or insurance company directly.
  • Don't take the first settlement offer from the insurance company. It is best to have an attorney review the car accident case and what expenses have resulted from the car accident.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Things You Shouldn't Do After a Car Accident," Brett Snider, April 30, 2013

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