Most of us do not expect to be in an auto accident. Therefore when such an incident occurs, our first instinct is to panic. Keep in mind that in Columbus, Ohio, all auto accident claims are evaluated on the basis of fault. Any compensation that you seek in the event of an accident will be determined based on how much you were at fault when the auto accident occurred. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep a straight head and deal with the situation calmly and intelligently.
Here are five things that you should NOT do in case you are in an auto accident:
Do Not Flee the Scene
The first that comes to mind when you are in an accident is to just get out of there. That is the biggest mistake you can make. Do not, under any circumstances, flee the scene. By running away, you are giving the authorities the perfect opportunity to charge you with a hit and run. Therefore, whether you’ve hit another car, a pedestrian or property, stay there and deal with the situation. Let the authorities investigate the scene and while all this is happening, you should call your insurance company and report the auto accident. Keep in mind that if have collided with a parked vehicle and you can’t locate the owner of the vehicle, you can leave the scene but only after you leave behind your contact information for the other driver. These are precautions that could save you from any complications in the future.
Do Not Forget to Call the Police
When you are in an auto accident, you may think that it is minor and that there is no need to call the police. That is another thing that you should avoid doing. Always, in such situations, your best strategy would be to call the authorities and report the accident. This way, the other driver cannot turn around and file a lawsuit against you. Remember, Columbus follows an at-fault system and therefore, if you have reported the incident as and when it occurred, nobody can turn around and say that it was your fault. Also, insurance companies are also very particular about procedures. If you fail to report the auto accident, the insurance company may use this against you and deny your claim for damages in case of any injury and/or property loss.
Do Not Ignore Your Medical Condition
Most drivers tend to become so stressed out during an accident that they become unaware of their physical state. Don’t assume that just because you did not get hit on the head or do not have a severe injury that you don’t need medical attention. People often make this mistake and then a few weeks later develop neck pain or back pain. Therefore, while you may be worried about your car, about how much damage you may have incurred; you may be furious with the other driver or worried about how much you were at fault; you may even be intimidated by the presence of police officers but for you, the most important thing at this time should be your health. If you don’t seek medical attention, you can suffer long-term consequences. Also, insurance companies tend to disregard claims that are not supported by medical records. Therefore, if after an auto accident, you report the accident and you seek medical treatment at the hospital, all relevant details will be recorded on the day as and when they happened.
Do Not Forget to Note Down Important Details
In case of an auto accident, if you are not severely injured and if the situation allows it, you should take down as much information you can including the other driver’s name, address, phone number and the name of their insurance company. If the other driver files a claim against you at a later date, you will have evidence to prove what really happened. You should also take photographs of your car, the other car and any other important element in the surrounding area that could play a role in determining fault. All these details should be provided to your lawyer so that they can prepare your defense accordingly in case your claim is denied or in case the other driver files a personal injury lawsuit against you.
Do Not Give Any Over-The-Top Statements
There is no denying that road accidents can be mentally quite disturbing. People often get tense and anxious when the police start to ask questions. This is especially true if any of the passengers are injured or if the other driver (or passengers) have suffered injuries. Since Ohio is an at-fault state, the worst thing that you could do would be to state that it was your fault. In Columbus, they will use the comparative negligence approach and therefore, it might be possible that you were partially at fault and the other driver may also have played a role. Unless and until it is a clear case of you driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or some other reason that makes it blatantly obvious the accident occurred because of you, it is in your interest to avoid giving any over-the-top statements. Keep your answers limited. Answer all questions as honestly as possible but do not accept any responsibility. Any official statements you make should be in the presence of a lawyer.
Consult with an Attorney About Your Ohio Auto Accident
If you have been in an auto accident, you should consult a personal injury lawyer immediately. Call us at the Chester Law Group. We have a team of legal experts who have dealt with numerous Ohio car accident cases and have helped thousands of clients get the compensation they deserve. Keep in mind that insurance companies are not your friend. They will try to reach a settlement quickly and they will try their best to minimize their financial exposure. Our goal is to ensure you are treated fairly and that you are compensated according to the damages you have incurred. Call us today at 1-800-218-4243 and one of our associates will discuss your case and advise you accordingly.