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What To Do After a Car Accident that Is Your Fault

Every time you get into a drivers’ seat, you are taking the risk of getting into an accident. Most accidents don’t result in injuries, and minor fender benders happen every day. However, even an accident that looks like it only caused minimal damage can be expensive if it’s your fault. Minor repairs on damage can add up, particularly if the car repair in question requires hard to find parts.

There is a right and wrong way to go about protecting yourself financially and legally after you get into an accident where you’re at fault. If you take the following steps, you can save yourself a lot of money and headaches:

• Don’t admit fault. The most important thing when you cause an accident is to not admit it’s your fault. This can be difficult, as your first instinct may be to apologize to the person you collided with and tell him or her you accept the blame. However, even if you believe the accident was your fault, it’s best to keep it to yourself. Don’t tell anyone on the scene. This includes the other driver and the passengers in the other car.

• Do not talk to the others involved about the accident, or how it happened. Don’t ask the other driver provocative questions in an attempt to place the blame on him or her. Don’t get into a fight or accuse the other driver of anything. Don’t ask the other driver how fast he or she was driving. These are questions covered by the police and insurance; you don’t need to discuss them.

It’s best to simply ask the other driver if anybody was hurt, and then recommend you should all wait for the police to arrive. If you are feeling angry or emotional, keep it to yourself, and take a walk while you wait to calm down.

• Call the police. Even if nobody was injured in the collision, you should call the police. It’s state law in many areas to inform the police of any accident causing injury or damage exceeding $500. Even a minor injury means you should call the police. If you think the damage to either of your vehicles doesn’t look serious or expensive, you may be wrong. It’s best practice to call the police regardless of your opinions on the damage, and especially if either party was speeding or disobeying other traffic rules.

• Tell the police the truth. Lying to the police is much more serious than a bit of property damage. When the police arrive, they will ask you what occurred. Run over your memory before they get there so you’re clear on what happened. Relay the information honestly and accurately.

• Get the names of witnesses. It’s common knowledge that you should get the name and insurance information of the other driver when you get into an accident. However, it’s important to also get the names of any passengers in the other car as well as witnesses on the street if possible. They can be contacted later by the police and insurance companies to verify the chain of events.

• Take photos. Documenting all damage to either vehicle is important for insurance purposes later on. Take pictures of the scene as well, including skid marks on the road and any road signals and signs. This way, you will be able to properly relay what happened to your insurance company.

• Call your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, and definitely wait no more than a day following the accident. You must comply with the terms of your insurance company, or they will have a reason to deny coverage.

To learn more about legally protecting yourself in a car accident, contact Grey Law today.

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