Imagine you are out for a Sunday drive and find yourself in a car wreck. You are frustrated, angry and resentful. Even so, there are things you should never do or say in the aftermath of an auto wreck.
What not to or say following a car accident
If you are in an auto accident, be sure to avoid the following so that you and your legal rights are protected.
1. Don't leave the scene of an accident except to get emergency aid for an injured person and promptly returning. If you leave the scene in West Virginia you can be charged with a felony if there a death, or a misdemeanor if a person was injured. Also, if there is property damage that appears to be more than $500, West Virginia law mandates you call the local police.
2. Do not forget to check if any of your passengers are injured and ask the driver of the other car if he or she or any passengers need medical assistance.
3. Don't forget to call 911. This is true even if there are no apparent injuries as a police report can influence the outcome of a potential lawsuit.
4. Don't speak with your own or the other driver's insurance company without first speaking to your own lawyer. This is especially important when the other driver's insurance company wants to meet with you.
5. After you ascertain whether the other car's driver and passengers have been injured and you exchange insurance information, do not get into a conversation with the driver, passengers, or witnesses. Do not tell anyone, including the police that you are sorry or were the cause of the accident.
6. Don't lose your temper. Sure, everyone in both cars is rattled and upset, but avoid an argument.
7. Do not forget to document the accident as thoroughly as possible. Get identifying and contact information for the driver and passengers of the other car as well as any passengers that were in your car. Do the same for any witnesses too. In addition make a note about the weather, lighting and the like.
8. Almost everyone has a smartphone that can serve as a camera. Do not err by forgetting to take photos of the wreck, road conditions, etc.
9. Never accept an offer from an insurance company that you believe is unfair to you.
10. Do not forget to hire an experienced car crash attorney if there was an injury, death, or property damage over $500.
Car accidents are scary, and the best way to face frightening situations is to be prepared.