A while back I described what you should do in the unfortunate situation if you get into a car accident. Every once in a while, we run into people who go far and beyond what they should do, into the realm of actions you should never take when you get into a car accident. Here are a few things to remember NOT to do in the future:
- NEVER leave the scene of the accident. Despite your desire to immediately flee the scene of the accident, you must vehemently repress your impulses. It is a crime to leave the scene of a motor vehicle accident.
- NEVER apologize to the other driver. While your parents may have taught you to always politely apologize when you have done something wrong; in this situation, while you think you may be at fault – in actuality, you may not be. These sorts of admissions may be admissible in court and can make you liable for the car accident.
- NEVER get angry. If the accident was your fault, losing your cool and cursing at the other driver is the quickest way to get a lawsuit brought against you. Not only will the other driver look down upon you, but so will any future jury.
- NEVER speak directly with the insurance company or attorney of the other driver. The other insurance company and attorney will do their best to drill you for information they should not be privy to. This is what your own attorney is for. Once you are represented, it is improper for the other side to contact you directly.
- NEVER take the first offer of settlement. The opposing insurance company will investigate the accident and (if their insured is at fault) may offer you a ludicrously low amount of money as compensation for your injuries. While you may not be able to get much more than their initial offer, negotiation is your's (and your attorney's) best friend to maximize your settlement.