Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience. An accident happens with little warning, and when it does, there are certain things of which you should be aware to get through the ordeal in the best way possible. Here is a list of things not to do after a car accident.
Do not leave the scene.
When an accident occurs, you should never leave the scene right away. Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense in many circumstances. Even if you and the other party aren’t hurt, do not leave the scene until the police arrive to take your statements.
Do not move an injured person.
If a person has been injured in an accident, do not attempt to move them. Moving an injured person can potentially make their injuries worse, since they may have injuries that can’t be seen, such as broken bones or internal bleeding. Call an ambulance right away. The emergency personnel can do a proper assessment of the injured person and transport them to a hospital if needed.
Do not leave your vehicle in the road.
If you are involved in an accident, you should not leave your vehicle in the middle of the road, unless it is too damaged, or you are too injured to move it. Leaving your vehicle in the road blocks the flow of traffic for other motorists, and makes it difficult for the police and emergency personnel to get to the scene. Move your vehicle to the side of the road away from the flow of traffic.
Do not refuse medical treatment.
If you were in the vehicle accident, let the emergency personnel check you condition. Do not assume that you are fine, or that your injuries are superficial scratches and bruises. Some injuries may not become apparent right away, and some symptoms for injuries, such as a concussion, may not develop until hours later. To be safe, get yourself checked out, and keep a record of any medical treatment you receive for your claim.
Do not take pictures without permission.
Pictures may help your insurance claim, because they are proof that the accident occured. They also give the insurer a better idea of the extent of the damage. However, you should only take pictures of your own vehicle’s damage. Do not take pictures of anyone else’s vehicle, unless they give you permission first.
Do not delay filing your insurance claim.
If you plan to file a claim with your insurer, you must do this as soon as possible after the accident. Some insurance companies have strict deadlines of when a claim will be accepted. If you file the claim outside of your insurer’s time-frame, you may not receive any compensation. So, get your documentation together, and file your claim sooner, not later.
Do not be afraid to seek legal help.
If your insurer refuses to honor your claim, you suffered loss of wages, or accrued medical bills as a result of the accident, do not be afraid to speak to an injury attorney to learn about your rights.