Guest post submitted by Parry Jacobs, a freelance writer for Cooper | Coons, a Las Vegas based law firm, specializing in estate planning, probate and asset protection.
Getting in a car accident can be stressful, whether it was a light tap or a full-on collision. Car accidents, unfortunately, occur every single day. While you can drive carefully to avoid getting into a collision, those around you might not. Learning the right way to handle the aftermath of an accident is key, so here are some tips for dealing with an accident that wasn't your fault.
Accidents, even light taps, can cause someone to go into a panic, but it's important to stay calm for your own good. Some people get very angry and confront the other driver, but it's best to avoid this type of encounter as it can lead to a fight. Just take a breath and wait for the police to arrive.
Car accidents can be very dangerous and injuries are quite common, so the first thing you should do after an accident is check if anyone's been hurt. First, check your passengers and ensure everyone in your vehicle is okay; once you do this, head to the other vehicle and ask if anyone's hurt. If someone's been injured, call for medical help immediately.
After ensuring everyone is injury-free, the next step is to report the accident to the police as soon as possible. The best way to avoid an unnecessary confrontation is to avoid discussing the accident with the other driver. When the police come to the scene, calmly explain what occurred and specify that you were not the one who caused the accident. If possible, ask other drivers if they can be witnesses to what occurred.
Most often, the person who was at fault would try to convince you to settle the matter without getting an insurance company involved. Unfortunately, doing so is a recipe for disaster, and you can end up paying to repair damage that wasn't even your fault. In fact, sometimes the other driver ends up calling the insurance company themselves claiming that they're not at fault. When you call the insurance company, calmly explain the details of the incident, and if possible, ask an officer to talk to the company for validation.
Getting into an accident is not a fun experience, but you should not be held accountable for damage that isn't your fault. These steps are a vital part of getting through this tough experience with dignity and ease.