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7 Things to Avoid Doing After a Car Crash

Statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Administration show that more than 5 million automobile accidents occur each year. That amounts to about one every minute, and there's a chance that you could be involved in one too. Knowing what to do and what not to do can make a huge difference in staying safe and avoiding liability issues. If you've been in a car accident lately and felt as though you didn't handle it quite right, or you just want for you and your loved ones to be prepared, here are seven things to avoid doing following a car crash.

Refuse to Move

Immediately following an accident, you might be in shock or, at a minimum, a little shaken up. If the accident is minor, and if you're able to, make sure everyone is okay and then move the vehicles off the road and out of traffic. Don't refuse to move, arguing that you're altering the scene of the accident. The most important thing at this point is doing all you can to prevent another accident. If anyone is injured, call 911 for emergency assistance.

Admit Fault

Emotions tend to run high after a car crash, and you might feel compelled to say you're sorry and that it was all your fault. This is one of the hardest things you'll have to do, but don't admit fault, no matter what. There's a good chance the other driver will tell this to the police when they arrive, resulting in possible charges against you. Even if you face only a minor moving violation from admitting fault, when the insurance companies find out, they can use that statement against you and hold you financially liable.

Lose Your Temper

If you feel as though the other driver was at fault, you may get angry. But once again, it's vital to keep your cool and not lose your temper. Verbally attacking someone will only put them on the defensive, making it more difficult to communicate with them. And you never really know who you're dealing with or whether they have the potential to become violent.

If you feel your temper about to blow, walk away for a few minutes or go sit in your car until the police arrive. Getting in an argument just isn't worth it. Let the police sort out the details of who's at fault so you don't have to.  

Give Out Highly Personal Information

If the other driver cooperates, you should get their name, phone number, address, license-plate number, and insurance company's name, and you should provide the other driver with your personal details as well. Never give out highly personal information like a social security number, no matter what they say. And don't agree to sign any sort of documents unless they're coming from the police.

Neglect to Call the Police

Minor fender benders can usually be resolved fairly easily. But don't let the other driver talk you into keeping the police out of the matter. Quite often, when someone is trying to keep the police out, they are doing so for personal gain. They either don't want to get ticketed or may not have a driver's license or insurance and don't want to get caught. It's a good idea to let the police file a report in order to protect yourself both personally and financially.

Lie If You're Intoxicated

If you've been drinking or using drugs, don't try to hide it or lie about it once the police show up. They are trained to detect these sorts of things, and if you have to submit to a drug or alcohol test, lying about it will only make you look bad and can hurt your case.

Forget to Take Pictures

Use common sense when taking pictures of the damage. In other words, don't stand out in the street. Step away to the shoulder and be sure to take plenty of pictures of your car and the other driver's car as well. This could prove helpful when you are providing information to your insurance company. 

Talk to an auto-accident attorney for more tips.