Getting into an auto accident usually comes out of nowhere and can leave you feeling disoriented and sick to your stomach. That said, it's important that you try and collect your wits in the immediate aftermath in order to protect yourself from a legal standpoint. This is especially crucial if you already know as soon as you get out of the car that the accident was your fault. Here are three things you need to do following an accident in order to protect yourself.
Check on the Other Driver But Don't Apologize
It's ok to ask the other driver if they are OK but your empathy should stop there. Do not under any circumstances apologize for causing the accident. Yes, it might seem like the right thing to do, but if the other driver ends up taking you to court, that apology could end up being seen as an admission of guilt. Even if there is other evidence showing it's your fault, you should never just voluntarily take the blame in a situation like this.
You Should Still Get a Police Report
You might not want to call the police if you know that the final report is going to make you look bad. But it's still important to have an official account of the incident on file. You never know if the other party might later try to change some of the details or embellish something in order to try and make you look even worse and get a larger settlement.
Contact an Attorney
Auto accident attorneys exist exactly for situations like the one you are now in. Reach out to an attorney today and explain the situation. The lawyer will not be able to undo the accident but they can give you some advice on how to avoid making the problem even worse. A good auto accident attorney will also be able to talk to the insurance providers for you so that you don't have to worry about answering a bunch of questions that will have unflattering answers.
It's common for people to be a bit freaked out following an auto accident, especially if they know the incident is their fault. That said, you still have some legal rights that you need to protect. Do this by keeping conversation with the other driver to a minimum and by contacting the police to get an official report filed. Most importantly, don't move forward without an auto accident lawyer on your side.