In 2014, 32,675 people in the U.S. were killed in automobile crashes, and
another 2.34 million more were injured, according to the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While no one ever wants to get
into a car wreck, statistics show that there’s a good possibility
it may happen at some point in your life. If you are involved in a
car accident, it’s important you know what to say and do in order to protect
your claim, your safety, and your future.
Here is some advice on what NOT to do after a car accident.
Do not flee the scene of the accident – It’s normal to get nervous after a car accident, but the
last thing you want to do is flee the scene of an accident. It is your
legal obligation to stop and see if anyone was hurt. If you fail to render
aid and stay at the scene of an accident, you can be charged with a crime,
even if you were not at fault for causing the wreck. You can still face
criminal charges if the accident involved property damage only. Always
check to see if anyone was injured, and if they were, call 911 for help.
If you can’t call 911 for some reason, you are still responsible
for ensuring that the injured make it to a hospital or otherwise receive
Do not admit fault – It’s natural for people to apologize after an accident,
but this is the last thing you want to do. If you take the blame by saying,
“I’m sorry, it was all my fault,” or make any statements
that can be interpreted as an admission of fault or contribution to a
crash, this will only cause problems during the claims process. Even if
you “think” a collision is your fault, it may not be. Leave
it to the insurance companies, law enforcement, and lawyers to investigate
and determine liability.
Deciding not to call the police – Not calling the police is a bad idea. If you and the other driver
decide not to call the police, you miss out on having an objective third
party record the details and relevant information involved in your collision.
Remember, a lot of drivers don’t have insurance. The other driver
can try to talk you into not calling the police and letting the insurance
companies handle it, but then you may find out they don’t have insurance
or provided you with false information. One of the best ways to protect
yourself during the claims process is to ensure that you call the police
and have them file a police report.
Not exchanging information with the other driver – Just like not calling the police, not exchanging all identifying
information with the other driver can make it difficult to track them
down and hold them liable for your damages. Let’s say you only get
the other driver’s cell number, then later find out they gave you
a wrong number. This could result in not being able to pursue compensation.
To protect yourself, get all the information you can, including a license
plate number. It is also wise to take pictures of the scene and vehicles involved.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law has helped numerous victims and families
after they were harmed in auto accidents, including those involving
catastrophic injuries, and
wrongful death. Over the years, we have seen how mistakes made in the aftermath of a
crash can complicate matters for victims during their pursuit of fair
compensation, which is why it is so important to make sure you take the
If you were injured in an accident in Bergen County or the surrounding
areas of New Jersey,
contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law to discuss your case during a FREE consultation.