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Even a relatively minor auto accident can bring your life to a grinding halt if you aren’t careful. With a little planning and some foresight, you can avoid a myriad of expensive problems over the next few months. Here are a few tactics that you can use to avoid major issues after being involved in a collision.
The best thing that you can do at the scene of an accident is remain calm and collected. Trying to arguing with the other driver is only going to make the situation more difficult later on. Once you have verified that everyone is safe, you can then collect information from the other driver and any nearby witnesses. You can also snap some photos of the scene with your smartphone and write down a few sentences describing exactly what took place.
In most states, you aren’t required by law to contact the police after a minor collision. If any major injuries have occurred or multiple cars were involved, then you need to call the police immediately so that a report can be written. Their report will most likely include basic information such as statements from all of the parties and the officer’s assessment of the situation.
Admitting that you are partially or fully responsible for the accident is never a good idea. Even if you believe that you are responsible, it is important to remember that you don’t have all of the information. You must also avoid talking about the accident on social media as that information can be used against you at a later time.
No matter which state you are in, you only have a short window to report the accident. As a general rule, you should try to notify your insurance provider and the police within 48 hours. Insurance providers have very specific rules regarding accidents, and failing to report the collision within that window could void your policy.
Drivers should never try to navigate through the legal system on their own. An experienced accident lawyer can help you file all of the proper paperwork with the DMV, police department, and your insurance provider. When it comes time to negotiate a settlement, they will act as an intermediary between you and the claims adjusters.
No matter what happens after your accident, you must continue to focus on your physical and mental health. These ordeals are always going to be difficult, and the best way to move past them is to stay as healthy as possible while your legal representative builds a case for you.