After being involved in an accident, there are certain things you should do, such as calling the police and taking photos of any damage.
But just as important as what you do after a collision is what you should never do.
Here are five things you should never do after being involved in a car accident.
1. Never admit fault to the other party at the scene
If you immediately admit fault, it puts you, your legal representatives and your insurance company at a disadvantage, so it’s always a good idea to leave consideration about who is to blame until you are speaking to your own representatives.
Of course, where it is obvious that you are to blame having an honest and frank conversation with your own insurer or representatives will help achieve a speedier resolution of the claim.
Where you are not sure then you should seek independent advice.
2. Don’t be confrontational or lose your temper.
It’s natural to feel angry or guilty after a collision, even if it wasn’t your fault.
But losing your temper or being confrontational with the other driver or the police could land you in hot water.
It’s useful for dealing with the shock of the accident to sit somewhere safe and take some long, deep breaths and make sure that you can remember or note down all that you can about what has just happened.
This will help make the information you give to the police or your representatives as accurate as possible.
Your phone is a useful tool for taking pictures of the scene and recording the information.
3. Don’t negotiate with the other driver.
After an accident, you or the other driver might be tempted to deal with things on your own.
But without seeking independent advice first, you could end up out of pocket for much more than you anticipated.
While it might be tempting to sort things out between you amicably at the scene the shock may mean that you don’t realise the full extent of your damages and any other losses you might incur.
4. Never speak to the other driver’s insurer.
You should never speak to the other driver’s insurer after a collision.
Always remember: insurance companies are not on your side; their sole aim as a business is to make money.
The other driver’s insurer will have its own interests in mind when they contact you.
They will focus on how to undermine your accident claim or apportion blame on to you.
They may try to split fault between both drivers and offer quick solutions that are not in your best interests.
It’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Instead, speak to your legal representatives or accident management company first and politely decline any communication from the other driver’s insurer.
5. Never leave the scene of the collision without speaking to the police.
No matter how minor an accident is, always call the police.
If you leave the scene of an accident, without stopping and giving your details you might be accused of a ‘hit and run’.
It is likely that police will track you down, and you may be prosecuted.
Call the police on 999 if it’s a severe collision with injuries or call the non-emergency number 101 if it’s a minor collision.
There is nothing to be lost in having an official record of your accident.
CRASH Services – Accident Advice Guide
CRASH Services have a free Accident Advice Guide which you can download here. It explains your legal rights following an accident, regardless of whether an accident is your fault or not.
If you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault CRASH Services can take care of everything at no cost to you.