We all know that it is illegal not to stop when we’re in a car accident. It’s important to gather certain information, like the names and licence plate numbers of the people involved and a record of what happened.
But, it’s equally important not to do a few specific things in order to protect yourself after a crash.
Don’t leave the scene.
Not only is it illegal to leave the scene of an accident, you could end up paying more in the end. Legal fees, insurance fees, traffic tickets, court fees, repair fees, and other fees will add up and running away doesn’t mean you’re exempt from paying.
Instead, take a little time after an accident to make sure everyone is okay, exchange information, and call the police.
Don’t allow your driver’s license to be photographed.
While you do need to share some information with the other driver, like your name and phone number, there is no reason for them to have your driver’s license number or a photograph of you.
Avoid identity theft and don’t allow your license to be photographed. It is a good idea to take photos of the vehicles at the scene.
Don’t agree to ‘leave the police out of it’.
In some states, it is illegal not to report an accident. In any state, it’s a good idea to contact the police.
Reporting to the police is not the same as reporting to your insurance company. If, after the accident, you do find additional damage to your car or medical issues, it may be necessary to have a police report to get compensation or contact your insurance company at a later time.
If the police are unable or choose not to come, make sure to safely and accurately document the accident and your call.
Don’t admit responsibility at the scene of a crash.
When you’re exchanging information with the other involved parties, try to stick to the facts.
It’s okay to discuss what happened with a lawyer, or if you’re comfortable with it, the police or your insurance company.