Thursday, November 16, 2017

Never, Ever Do These Things After A Crash (If You Like Your Money)

That feeling of dread is about as horrendous as it can get. That sudden loss of senses as your stare in every which way unsure of what just happened, your ears ringing, your car looking like it just rolled down a scrapheap mountain, a vista of panicked faces and the worry that the adrenaline is covering up a montage of injuries. It’s all horrendous.

But as bad as all this sounds, it can get a whole lot worse if you don’t play your cards right. A. Whole. Lot. Worse. At the kinder end of the scale, you could see a hefty fine land in your lap after a lost court case and, at the other end, you may find yourself getting harangued by the law.

That is why we have come up with a list of things you absolutely must not do after being in a car crash:

Never, Ever: Flee The Scene
Even if it is the most minor collision ever known to humankind, where everyone seems to be unharmed and the only apparent damage is a cracked side-mirror, the worst thing you can do is leave the scene. At least, that’s what the motor vehicle accident lawyers we spoke to said. No matter how minor, you have to stop, check on anyone else that’s been involved, exchange insurance details and report it to the law. Don’t do that, and you’re minor accident blossoms into you breaking the law, which can be super expensive. Leaving and get caught for it (and you will get caught), could see you become thousands of dollars out of pocket and possible community work.

Never, Ever: Forget To Call The Cops
It can be all too easy to think, “ah, it’s nothing, no need to call the cops and waste taxpayers money,” but this could be the worst mistake you make. Not only could it be an offence, but your “gentlemen's agreement” to let the insurance people sort this out and not involved the cops could backfire. They may not have up-to-date insurance, they may have an arrest warrant, someone may need medical attention or they may, in fact, report it to the police and say you fled, which wouldn’t be great when you arrive at court. One in seven drivers doesn’t have insurance. One in seven. It really isn’t worth the risk.

Never, Ever: Get Too Confrontational
Emotions are bound to ruining high, especially if you weren’t at fault for the collision. However, getting aggressive, confrontational or just downright losing your cool is not a great way to go. Instead, swallow that emotion and ask if they are alright. Laying the blame on them is not going to fix anything. What you really need is to assess the situation with a clear mind, exchange details, take photos of everything, speak to witnesses and do all you can in terms of documenting the accident. However, don’t go the other way either and tell people at the scene it was your fault. Do this and you are legally admitting liability, which could see you get slapped with a heavy lawsuit, endless debt and a crazy mix of other penalties to boot.

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