10 Mistakes to Avoid If You Get in a Car Accident

By Tokkie Ferreira       Last updated June. 1, 2018


No matter how careful you are, accidents are mostly very unpredictable and can happen without a warning. The fact that you share the roads with different drivers having varying experience levels and distinct temperaments exposes everyone to the possibilities of accidents.

There are several other factors that can contribute to accidents and it is not wise to rule out the chances of being involved in an accident. It is necessary to be prepared for it at all times.

The most important thing in an accident is to survive it. After that, it is necessary not to make mistakes that may have serious implications since there can always be legal consequences.

In the heat of the event and the accompanying shock, it is often hard to be rational and act calm, but being knowledgeable of things to avoid will help you if you ever get into an unfortunate and unforeseen accident.

When it comes to insurance, how you react to the situation and what you do immediately afterward will affect your claim. If there is going to be a lawsuit, your actions at the scene will also affect the outcome of the legal process.

To help you handle an accident situation in the best possible way, we will discuss some common mistakes people make which you must avoid.


1. Driving Away


This is probably the worst mistake you can make after an accident. Driving away from the accident site means you were at fault and the legal implication can be very severe.

When you are involved in an accident, no matter who is at fault, it is essential that you stay at the scene unless your life is in danger. If this is not the case, do not leave the site and leave your car the way it is.


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2. Moving Your Vehicle


It is essential to leave your car the way it is after an accident. Irrespective of the severity of the crash, it is best that you leave your car in the same position so that the police can rightly determine the cause of the crash and who might be at fault.

Even if you have to leave for assistance, it is advisable that you seek another means of transportation other than your vehicle.

Until you receive permission from the authority involved to move your vehicle, leave it the way it is.


3. Losing Your Temper


It is normal to get very angry after a crash, especially when you believe another person might be at fault.

The problem is that most people often assume the other driver is at fault, but until you are certain, it is important that you must keep your temper under control.

It is important that you remain calm because whatever you do or say in such a state of anger can have unfavourable legal implications.


4. Admitting Fault


It is good to be truthful, but that should not mean that you admit fault immediately after an accident.

Even if everyone around is of the opinion that you caused the accident, it is better to remain calm and collected without admitting that you are at fault at that moment.

Evidence may exonerate you later, even when you assume you are at fault. If you admit wrongdoings, it may hurt your case if there is a lawsuit and damages can be incurred.

Until you talk to an attorney or have an expert ascertain that you are at fault, never admit it at the site of the accident.


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5. Not Calling The Police


You understand that it is important to get the police immediately involved if an accident is fatal or someone was seriously injured.

What people don’t seem to understand is that it is equally important to get the police involved even in a minor accident.

It is absolutely essential as the police report and case number will be helpful while making a claim or dealing with a lawsuit.


6. Failing To Gather Vital Information Immediately


It is essential that you gather vital information that can be useful if you decide to make claims or sue for damages.

Regardless of how minor the accident is, exchange vital information with the other driver as early as possible.

You can also take down the details of first-hand witnesses who will be willing to testify. You will also need to take some picture or video evidence if that is possible. This might help in your case or claims.


7. Providing False Or Misleading Information


No matter the extent of damage or your role in an accident, it is wrong to provide false information at any stage of the process. Make sure that the information you are providing your insurance company or the police is accurate to the best of your knowledge.

If the information you give is found to be misleading, your insurance claim can be partly or completely rejected, and you may be in some legal difficulties too.




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8. Venting On Social Media


As intuitive as it might feel at the moment to voice your feelings. You ought to resist from this, especially if you are involved in an accident.

Whatever you say on social media about the accident can be accessed and used against you if there is a lawsuit.


9. Waiting Too Long To Act


There is a limited amount of time for you to apply for an insurance claim. If you are involved in an accident, it is essential that you act quickly and treat whatever injury you must have sustained in the accident and to get redress for damages.

It is always best to start as early as possible and contact your insurance broker who will help you with your insurance claim. Most Insurers require that you submit your claim within 30 days of the accident.


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10. Failing To Seek Legal Advice


Seek help from an insurance broker to help you file for a claim and it might be required to get assistance from a qualified attorney who has the legal knowledge that will guide you to handle the situation in the best possible way.

It is essential that you take note of the common mistakes discussed above and ensure that you avoid them if you ever find yourself involved in an accident as a driver.

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