happen to even the best drivers so be aware of the appropriate actions
you need to take before you are involved in an accident, at the scene, and immediately
afterward. Legal hassles that arise from car or motorcycle collisions can be avoided
if you can keep your head and know what to do.
to do at the scene of an auto accident
It is a
good idea to make a police report at the scene of any accident. If possible, get
the names and contact details of people who saw what happened. If you have a cell phone camera handy, take photos of the accident.
Always exchange insurance information whether or not it seems necessary. Few drivers
are clear-headed after an accident, and you or your car may have sustained damage
that is not noticed until later.
Of course, this assumes that the accident was a minor fender bender and no injuries were involved. If you get hurt in a car accident, no matter how minor you think the injury might be, get it checked. If an ambulance is called you have a right to refuse treatment, but it's always wise to have it looked at by a medical professional in case it is something more serious.
NOT to say
Whether you feel that it's your fault or
not, don't make any admissions of guilt at the scene.
Be honest about what happened
when you speak to the other driver or the police, but stick to the facts. Many
drivers are rattled, even by a minor accident. Often drivers will get out of their
cars apologizing, and accepting the blame for what happened, whether or not it
actually was their fault.
an argument, it usually takes two to cause an accident. You can't know what the
other driver was doing that may have contributed to the events. It may seem that
you did or didn't do something that created the situation, but you'll be
surprised to know that most drivers feel that way when they hit something.
may not have applied the brakes in time to avoid a collision, but the other driver
may have been going too fast. A slower moving car would have given you a little
more time to react and the accident would not have happened. You only know that
you didn't stop in time. The report you give should be unemotional, clear and
factual. There are courts and lawyers to sort out where the responsibility lies.
When you have a chance to rerun the scene in your mind after you calm down, you
may remember details that make it clear you did not cause the accident. If you
admit that the accident was your fault in the police report, you make it difficult
for your lawyer to argue your case if it comes to that.
How to avoid most car accidents
you know that most accidents happen just a short distance from the driver's home?
Therefore, if you skip the seat belt because you're only driving to the store... you're
increasing the probability that you'll be injured if you do get hit by another
best accidents are the ones you can avoid. Most areas ban the use of cell phones
while driving because it increases your chances of having an accident. It isn't
just the law, it saves lives, so always turn off the phone when you're behind
the wheel. Avoid driving when you are tired or on medication that may slow down
your reactions. Make sure to have a designated driver if you will be drinking.
Keep you car running properly. Have the tires, brakes, and steering checked on
a regular schedule and check the fluid levels often.
about auto accidents around the Web:
the Web, check out helpful guides to what to say and do in the event of an accident,
what information to gather at the scene, how to file a claim or damage report,
your rights under U.S. state law, plus additional information on typical everyday
car accidents - and how best to avoid them ...
Car Accidents: Proving
Fault - Check out expert advice from nolo.com on how to obtain
police reports, knowing your rights under state law, a discussion on rear-end
collisions and left-turn accidents, plus related links to general personal liability
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - More about prevention
rather than legal help, but may save you lots of headaches down the road - with
pages of info on the latest child passenger safety and seating, crash tests and
statistics, rollover information, recalls and more.
The information provided on these pages is intended as reference only and
does not constitute professional legal advice.