5 Mistakes to Avoid Making After a Car Accident
Despite taking the proper precautions, car accidents happen. In fact, in 2018 alone, there were 916 Arizonians killed in crashes throughout the state. But despite the regularity with which car accidents occur, many people are not aware of the proper steps to take after an accident. Here are some things to remember, should you find yourself the victim of a car accident:
Call the Police
You may feel as though the accident was minor and you don’t need to “bother” calling the cops. However, it’s important to understand that having an officer show up at the scene of the accident can have a large impact on the outcome of your claim, should you decide to pursue one. This is because a police officer that comes to the scene of the accident will collect various evidence including witness statements, and will assemble an Accident Report. Having this report is a reliable source of evidence from a respected third party.
It is human instinct to apologize, whether or not the situation has anything to do with us. But while it’s good to be kind and compassionate, it’s always a bad idea to apologize after an accident – even if it is your fault. Even the simplest of statements can be used as evidence against you in order to prove you were at fault.
Stay at the Scene
No one ever anticipates being in a car accident, so we are often alarmed and distressed when it does happen. Whether you panic or you just don’t think any damage was done, it’s never good to leave the scene of the accident. Instead, remain calm and wait for the police to show up. Regardless of what the other driver says, do not leave without exchanging information. Otherwise, you could be found guilty of committing a hit-and-run.
Collect As Much Evidence as Possible
Understandably, immediately following an accident, you’re likely focusing on the damage to your vehicle and injuries that may have been sustained. However, gathering evidence right away is critical. This is because all evidence only fades with time. Relevant evidence may include things such as:
- Pictures of the vehicles (interior and exterior)
- Pictures of the scene (both near and far angles)
- Obtain the insurance and contact information of the other driver
- Secure the contact information of any witnesses
If you cannot obtain this evidence due to an emergency situation, it’s best to find someone you trust who can do so on your behalf.
Seek Medical Treatment
While you may feel perfectly fine immediately following a car accident, some injuries can take days or weeks to show up. If you seek medical treatment right away, you can use it as evidence to support injuries that may worsen later. However, if you fail to seek medical treatment only to suffer from an injury later on, you may have a difficult time establishing medical records that tie the injury directly to the accident.
Consult with a Qualified Car Accident Attorney
Regardless of how minor you believe an accident to be, it’s a good idea to consult with a qualified Arizona car accident attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, a qualified Arizona Personal Injury attorney can help. At Zanes Law we will help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 833-214-0917.
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