Avoid These Mistakes After a Car Accident in Carrollton

You’ve just been in a car accident in Carrollton. Even minor fender benders can be stressful events. But before you step out of the car or call the police, take a breath. Making the wrong move now could impact any insurance claim or lawsuit down the road.

We know accidents are upsetting, but stay calm. With this guide, you’ll learn some mistakes to avoid after a crash so you can protect yourself legally and financially. We’ll walk you through what to do – and what not to do – from the scene of the accident through hiring a Carrollton car crash attorney to handle the insurance claims process.

Failing to Call the Police

After an accident, your first instinct may be to exchange information with the other driver and leave the scene. But failing to call the police is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Reporting the accident within 48 hours is required by law in Carrollton, and failing to do so can result in legal trouble.

Calling 911 to report the accident, even for minor fender-benders, is critical. Police will document details of the crash for insurance purposes, including taking witness statements and photos of vehicle damage.

Not Gathering Information

The aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic and stressful, but it’s critical to gather as much information as possible from the other parties involved. Don’t leave the scene without obtaining contact details and insurance information from any other drivers, passengers, and witnesses.

Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license number, insurance details, and vehicle make and model. Also note the location of the accident, time of day, weather conditions, and details about what happened.

Admitting Fault or Guilt

Whatever you do after an accident, do not admit fault or apologize to the other driver. Saying “I’m sorry” or “It was my fault” can be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt. Even if you think you were at fault, do not say so.

Admitting guilt when emotions are high often leads people to accept more blame than is warranted. The other driver may claim injuries that didn’t exist or exaggerate the severity.

do not argue with the other driver at the accident scene

Neglecting to Document the Scene

After an accident, tensions are high and thinking clearly can be difficult. However, it’s critical not to neglect documenting the details of what happened. Take pictures of both vehicles involved, the surrounding area, license plate numbers, and insurance information.

All of these details will be invaluable when filing a police report and insurance claim. While it may not seem important in the heat of the moment, forgetting these details could weaken your claim. The photographs and witness accounts serve as evidence to support your version of events.

Delaying Medical Treatment

In the moments after an accident, your health should be your top priority. Adrenaline will be pumping through your body, masking any pain from injuries. Don’t let this temporary numbness fool you into thinking you’re unharmed.

Head and neck injuries can be life-threatening if left untreated. While waiting for emergency responders to arrive, avoid moving around. Remain still to prevent further injury. Once paramedics are on the scene, describe how the accident happened and any areas of pain so they can properly immobilize and transport you.

Not Reporting the Accident to Your Insurance

Failing to report a car accident to your insurance company can end up costing you big time. Even for a minor fender bender, you’ll want to call your agent as soon as possible after the accident. Not doing so can be seen as violating your policy agreement and may allow the insurance company to deny any claims related to the accident.

Reporting the accident, even if the damage seems minimal, establishes an official record of the incident. Your insurance company can then properly document the details in case the other driver later comes after you, claiming additional damage or injuries.

Discuss Your Car Accident in Carrollton With an Experienced Lawyer

After a car accident in Carrollton, you may feel confused, upset or overwhelmed. However, it’s critical to remain as calm as possible and avoid making any rash decisions that could negatively impact your legal rights. One of the smartest things you can do is get in touch with a seasoned car accident attorney.

At Bethune Personal Injury Attorneys, we understand what you’re going through, and we’re here to help. Our legal team has decades of combined experience helping clients in Carrollton and throughout Georgia. Call us today at 1-800-INJURED for compassionate yet aggressive representation.