Did you know that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10.8 million car accidents occur every year in the United States? Luckily, only 36,000 end in death as a direct result. In total, fatal and nonfatal accidents cost Americans $300 billion per year, according to AAA.
Who pays for the costs following an accident depends entirely on blame. The “at fault party” is determined after an insurance investigation. However, mistakes made at the scene of an accident lead directly to huge accident costs being incurred, even if you’re not at fault. Forbes estimates that the average American will have to file an accident claim every 18 years. If you find yourself in that situation, here are four common mistakes you should avoid to keep yourself out of trouble with auto accident law firms, insurance claims departments, and the men and women in blue.
- Don’t Go Anywhere
- Do Not Admit Fault
- Don’t Cause Issues for Others
- Avoid Any “Gentlemen’s” Agreements
As written on HowStuffWorks.com, if you’re in a car accident, you are legally bound to stop, access the situation, and give your information for legal and insurance reasons. The laws concerning so-called “failure to stop” crimes vary from state to state. For example, The New York Times writes that a hit-and-run infraction in New York carries a penalty of 10 to 20 years in jail, depending on the incident, and costly financial penalties. As any auto accident law firm can tell you, it’s always better to stop.
Nolo.com keeps a comprehensive guide to laws pertaining to car accident settlements, car accident injury claims, and other important parts of traffic law. One of the biggest pieces of advice the site offers is to never admit fault at the scene of an accident. As soon as you admit you’re at fault, your likelihood of actually being found at fault skyrockets. Help save yourself time and money by keeping any interaction with the other party to a minimum.
Unless your car is so badly damaged that it can’t move after an accident, you need to get it out of the way of other drivers. Doing so, you can avoid dangerous traffic pile-ups that risk other drivers on the road, as well as posing a risk to you and the other driver involved in your accident. If you cannot move your vehicle, NRMA Insurance recommends turning on your emergency lights to help avoid any issues with oncoming traffic.
After a minor car accident, it’s tempting to take a small cash settlement from the other party as car accident compensation. However, InsuranceHotline.com suggests you avoid that situation entirely. Even if you’re offered cash on the spot, there is no way of knowing whether or not the other driver will hold to the agreement or report the accident to their insurance company. If you’re not at fault, the source writes, there is no reason to accept such an agreement.
If you want to avoid the huge costs of an auto accident and having to slug out compensation claims through an auto accident law firm, avoid these common and costly mistakes after an accident. Doing so, you can avoid trouble with the law and considerable financial penalties. Visit here for more: gatewaylawyers.com