Getting into a car accident can send anyone into a fit of frustration, even if there are no physical injuries and only minimal damage to the vehicles involved. Here are three things you should remember to avoid making the situation worse than it already is:
1. Stay calm
This is the most difficult one but it is also the most important. Staying calm will allow you to reflect on the accident and figure out what happened. It will also enable you to effectively gather information from the other driver.
Additionally, if you get out of the car yelling and screaming at the other driver – you are giving up the opportunity to figure out the best strategy to remedy the situation. Being cool can also help you talk to bystanders who may be willing to give a statement if you approach them politely rather than scaring them off.
The same goes for if the other driver is yelling or even threatening you, just stay calm and try to remove yourself from the situation because getting involved could lead to other unanticipated charges like assault, battery, disorderly conduct and others that you simply do not want to worry about.
2. Avoid extensive discussions about the accident with the other driver
While it is important to get basic contact information from the other driver, be careful not to discuss details of the accident as you could be compromising your position in the future if a lawsuit should arise. For example, you don’t want to create confusion by having a conversation with the other driver that leads him or her to believe you are admitting fault or offering to pay for medical expenses – best to keep it short and sweet.
Once the police arrive, talk to them directly about what happened.
3. Talk to an attorney
If after the accident, you are unsure of whether you have a claim against the other driver, the best thing to do is contact a personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of the situation. The consultation is free and it will help you determine the strength of your case or if you even have one.
Similarly, if the other driver if threatening you with a lawsuit, you should contact an attorney immediately to assess the merits of your opponent’s case.
Lastly, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss any potential insurance issues or if you think there is a chance your insurance company will deny your claim. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to get out of paying a claim. An attorney can help advise you of your options and make sure the insurance company is not unfairly denying any rightful claims simply on account of a technicality.