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The minutes that follow a collision can feel like a blur. Once the accident happens, your mind and body are wrestling with shock and the compelling need to take some sort of immediate action. What you do not do after a car accident, however, can be just as important, if not more so, when it comes to protecting your best interests.
Here are five things that a driver should never do after a crash:
1. Hit and Run
Whatever you do, be sure to remain at the scene. Never flee the accident, whether you were the one to hit the other driver or not. Your presence is vital in reporting the details of the crash, as well as in protecting the well-being of every other driver involved in the collision. In addition, fines and penalties for hit and runs can be severe. Do not make matters worse by avoiding the aftermath of the accident.
2. Take the Blame
In general, saying too much after an accident is never ideal, especially when it comes to admitting fault of any kind. Do not take the blame and risk putting yourself on record as the driver at fault for the collision. Even if you were the one who caused the accident, you might be surprised to discover that the other driver was just as much in the wrong as you were. There is always the chance that they too contributed to the crash, and those details matter when it comes to documenting the nature of the crash and dealing with potential lawsuits.
3. Blame Someone Else
Again, less is more when it comes to talking about the accident after the incident takes place. This does not mean you should avoid speaking with the other drivers, though. Be sure to talk with them and exchange important information, such as insurance, license, and contact info, but avoid making accusations or becoming argumentative. Instead, stick to the facts and communicate civilly.
4. Neglect to Call the Police
The Illinois State Police advises to always call the police after a collision, particularly when someone is hurt, when any of the drivers are unable to move their vehicles from the roadway, or if you discover that one of the drivers does not carry auto insurance. It is also crucial to call 911 when someone hits and runs or if it appears that one of the drivers is under the influence of alcohol or some other impairing substance.
5. Wait to Speak with a Lawyer
Just as the details surrounding the crash are critical, so is the need for proper legal representation. Should the car crash end up affecting your health or the ability to work, you could end up with medical bills, lost wages, and more. You will need a qualified professional to assess and build your case to ensure your rights are protected.
While it can be tempting to run from the scene, lose your temper, or accept blame for something you think you are at fault for, sticking it out and seeing the accident through from start to finish is necessary if you want to protect yourself. Do not forego speaking with a lawyer. The moment you are involved in a car accident, talk to a knowledgeable DuPage County car accident attorney. Call Martoccio & Martoccio for a free consultation.