What to Avoid Doing After a Car Accident

Driving a car at night - pretty, young woman driving her modern car at night in a city (shallow DOF; color toned image)

Driving a car at night – pretty, young woman driving her modern car at night in a city (shallow DOF; color toned image)

Even if you’re an excellent driver, there’s a great chance that you’ll get into a car accident someday.

Being a good driver does limit your risk, but some factors like other drivers are out of your control.

If you’ve never been in an accident before, then you might have no idea what to do when one does happen. Your emotions will be running high and your judgment can get clouded!

While there are certainly some important tasks to take care of right after a crash, there are also a few significant actions that you should avoid altogether. For example, make a point to avoid social media after a car accident so you don’t make your situation worse! 

We’ll take a look at what else you shouldn’t do after a car crash below to help you steer clear of any problems.

Admit Fault

One major mistake you can make immediately after an accident is admitting fault.

Even if you’re positive that you caused the crash, you still shouldn’t say anything about it. This is important to mitigate your liability for any damage that you cause.

When you admit that a crash is your fault, it makes it much easier for the other party to receive money for damages from you. This means that you should never apologize to the other driver and limit any interaction that you do have with them.

Additionally, apologizing or admitting fault when you didn’t cause the accident can make it difficult for you to receive any compensation later on.

You’re much better off letting the police and insurance decide who’s to blame. If you have a dashcam, the footage will speak for itself and you don’t need to add anything!

Drive Away From the Accident

Arguably the biggest error you can make is leaving the scene of an accident. Regardless of whether you caused the accident or not, driving away afterward can turn the situation into a hit-and-run.

Depending on the injuries to the other driver, this can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Both situations will involve suspension of your license, a hefty fee, and potential jail time.

Beyond legal penalties, you need to stay at the accident scene for many other reasons. Some of them exchanging insurance information with the other driver, documenting the accident with photos, looking for witnesses, and contacting the police.

Neglect the Police

Speaking of police, another thing you should never do is fail to include them.

Regardless of how much damage is caused by an accident, you should always call the police. There are many important reasons why you need to contact them.

For starters, they will create a police report of the accident. This is vital to getting a resolution from either driver’s insurance company.

Secondly, a law enforcement officer can help you navigate the accident and inform you of what you need to do. They’ll also section off the scene to make it safer for you.

Finally, the cops will protect you from the other driver. If they’re particularly upset or thinking about fleeing, a police officer will incentivize them to calm down and stay put!

It’s always a good idea to involve the authorities after an accident. Don’t listen to the other driver if they tell you otherwise because this could mean they might have a warrant for their arrest, an expired license, no insurance, or any other type of legal troubles that they’re trying to avoid.

Lose Your Temper

One last consideration is that you should refrain from losing your temper.

This one can be particularly tricky because of the emotional reaction you’ll have in response to an accident. Any car crash is extremely stressful and can put you into a state of shock.

Your reaction can be compounded if you sustain any injuries, have family members with you (especially children), and the attitude of the other driver.

Regardless of who caused the accident and the extent of it, you should never lose your cool. You have no idea how the other driver will react. They may get violent or end up driving away from the scene.

As difficult as it may be, keep your emotions in check. Better yet, limit any conversation that you have with the other driver.

Closing Thoughts

Despite how jarring a car accident is, you need to be careful about what you do right after having one. 

There are a few glaring mistakes to avoid that will make the aftermath of a crash even worse. This includes admitting fault to the accident, driving away from it, failing to include the police, and losing your temper.

It can certainly be hard to think straight after a wreck, especially if you didn’t cause it. Nonetheless, how you react immediately after having one can make a big difference as to how easy it is for you to move forward. 

Remember to act rationally and put your emotions aside to help minimize the impact of a traumatizing car accident. 



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