A car accident can ruin your day. Whether you were in a small fender-bender or a serious crash, there is an undeniable amount of stress and frustration that accompanies it. But even though it can be overwhelming, confusing or scary, there are three things that you should never do in the often-chaotic aftermath of an accident.
1. Drive away
Regardless of the scope of the accident, you should never drive away and leave the scene. Even if it doesn’t look like there’s any damage or you don’t feel injured, you have an obligation to stop. You never know if the other driver sustained injuries or not. If they are injured and aren’t capable of calling for help or driving to a hospital, you have a duty to help them.
2. Leave the police out of it
Calling 911 may seem like an obvious move in more serious accidents, but even in smaller accidents you should always call the police. In Pennsylvania, you must call 911 if the accident resulted in injury or death. If you cannot move your vehicles, you’ll also need to call the police.
Even when it doesn’t seem like you’ll need the assistance of police officers, there can be benefits to calling the police. Police need to report most car accidents anyway, but having an officer at the scene can add a third-party perspective. They can document the accident from an unbiased point of view. Not to mention, you can use their report as evidence of the scope of your accident for your insurance company later on.
3. Forget to document the scene
Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, which means that your own insurance company will cover most or all of the damages regardless of who was at fault. So, if you’re able, you’ll want to document the scene of the accident.
Luckily, most cell phones these days have camera capabilities, making it easy to photograph the scene of your accident. Capturing the important details as thoroughly as possible will allow you to provide substantial evidence to your insurance company so you can get the settlement you need to recover from your damages.