Accident on Friday Night: Rules to Follow After a Collision

accident on friday night

It only takes seconds on the road for a regular drive to turn into something catastrophic. This is especially true during peak driving hours, and many people get into an accident on Friday night.

While many collisions don’t have major consequences, it’s not uncommon for people to become severely injured or damage their vehicles. In the United States, there were approximately 117 fatal accidents per day in 2022. Countless more accidents resulted in serious injury.

Regardless of how the accident occurred, you’ll need to understand the steps to take afterward. This could dictate whether you get the best results for your situation. Let’s explore the key information to know.

Remain at the Scene

One of the most important steps to take after an accident is remaining at the scene. You should never assume the other vehicle isn’t damaged or that the other party isn’t injured. Leaving the scene for any reason could result in you getting charged with a hit-and-run.

This is a felony in some states, and it can make an innocuous situation far more serious. While at the scene, do your best to get to a safe location.

This is most commonly the side of the road or the median. If you’re on a bridge or a highway, get as far on the shoulder as you can.

Otherwise, you’ll put yourself in harm’s way and risk serious injury. If you feel it’s necessary, you can contact emergency services. This is most suitable for situations where injury is readily apparent.

Keep in mind it’s your responsibility to call emergency services if the other party is incapable of doing so themselves and needs assistance. You could experience legal complications if you neglect to do so after a major collision. Their injuries could also develop into something more serious.

Call the Police

As soon as you get to safety, call the police and report the incident. They’ll respond and assess the situation. After they determine their findings, they will create a report with the key information about the occurrence.

You can use this information in court at a later date to establish what happened at the scene. Police reports have a substantial amount of weight in the courtroom, and they can sometimes dictate whether you get the desired outcome.

Imagine a scenario where you collided with another vehicle and settled the matter with the other driver at the scene. They didn’t appear to be injured, and both vehicles had minor damage. You both left the scene without calling the police.

File an Insurance Claim

The sooner you file an insurance claim, the better. The insurance claim process is notorious for taking longer than expected.

You also risk being unable to meet the deadline due to factors outside your control. Not having access to the required documentation, for instance, could make it impossible for you to file your claim in time. It’s worth noting that failure to report an incident to your insurance could result in steep fines.

Your insurance might also adjust the amount they disburse. This could sometimes be a difference of thousands of dollars, making it impossible to accommodate the outcome of the incident.

Seek Medical Treatment

Under no circumstances should you neglect to seek medical treatment. Health issues that stem from a car crash aren’t always obvious. In some cases, they could take weeks or even months to manifest.

This is especially true for traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries have the potential to drastically change someone’s behavior, and it takes time to see these discrepancies manifest.

Seeking medical treatment also establishes evidence of your injuries. The other party might argue you weren’t as hurt as you claimed to be if you never sought medical attention. Ask your medical professional how you can access this information so you can add it to your records.

Don’t Post on Social Media

It’s best to avoid posting on social media after the accident. The less you publicly say, the less potential there will be for you to impact your case.

Even posts that don’t have anything to do with the incident can be used against you. Consider the following scenario:

David experienced a severe back injury after being struck by another driver at an intersection. For the first two weeks after his accident, he could barely walk.

Regardless, he decided to attend his godson’s birthday party at his friend’s home. While there, he took a picture with the family and posted it on social media.

Despite being in substantial pain, he looks more or less normal in the photo. The other party’s attorney uses this as evidence that he was exaggerating his injuries.

This may or may not affect your case. However, it adds unnecessary stress to an already complicated time in your life.

Hire a Vehicle Accident Lawyer

You will need to hire a reputable attorney to get the best results. They have the tools and resources to help you get the best results.

When searching for an attorney, look online to learn more about their reputation. This will provide valuable insight into what you can expect from hiring them.

You should also consider their pricing structure. Some car accident attorneys operate on a contingency basis, which means the client pays nothing upfront.

Instead, the lawyer takes money out of their winnings as compensation. If the attorney doesn’t win, the client pays nothing.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are certain mistakes you should avoid at all costs after your accident. This will help ensure you prevent additional complications. Let’s explore some of the most notable.

Contacting the Other Party

You should never contact the other party after you exchange information at the scene. The last thing you want is to be accused of harassment or intimidation. Let’s assume you obtain the other driver’s address and phone number while exchanging information.

You wish to speak about the events with them off-record. You send them a message asking them to call you when they can about the incident.

They don’t respond, but instead report this occurrence to their attorney. Their lawyer can then argue that you were at fault in the collision and attempted to pressure the other party into not taking action. A situation like this can quickly damage your case.

Admitting Fault

Many people mistakenly admit fault after an accident occurs. Even something simple like saying “Oh my goodness, I didn’t see you” can be used against you at a later time.

After an accident occurs, be wary of everything you say. Ask if the other driver can provide their insurance information.

You should also keep a fair distance away from them after the accident. Depending on the circumstances, the other party may behave erratically or dangerously.

If you don’t feel comfortable at the scene, remain in your vehicle with the doors locked until the police arrive. Doing so will ensure the situation doesn’t escalate.

Giving a Recorded Statement

After an accident, the other party’s insurance company may contact you. They’ll ask you numerous questions about the incident, such as how fast you were going, how the accident occurred, etc.

You should never give a recorded statement to the other party. When people are put on the spot, they’re likely to slip up and say something incriminating.

This is true even if they didn’t do anything wrong. To clarify, the other party’s insurance company could ask you how fast you were going. Without thinking, you could say 40 mph.

After the conversation, even remember you were only going around 25 mph. It would be too late in this situation to go back and absolve yourself. To protect yourself in this scenario, respectfully declare that you have an attorney and that they can obtain a statement through them.

Accepting the First Settlement Offer

Settlements are called this for a reason. They occur when the other party wants to settle the matter and put it behind them. There’s always a maximum amount the other parties want to pay, but it will never be the first offer.

In most circumstances, it will be far less. A common example could involve the other driver’s insurance company calculating that $800,000 is the most they could feasibly pay for the incident.

However, you receive a settlement offer of only $50,000 at first. While this is a substantial amount of money for most people, you’ll miss out on exponentially more by accepting it.

The amount of money you could’ve had would likely mend all the complications that arose from the accident. Your attorney can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve.

Accident on Friday Night? Take Action ASAP

If you’ve experienced an accident on Friday night, it’s essential to take action as soon as possible. This will help ensure you have the best chance of success in your situation. Just be sure to find the right attorney.

Sweet Lawyers prides itself on going above and beyond for each of our clients. We believe that receiving the best legal representation should mean sacrificing high-quality personal service. You’ll learn more about the many benefits we offer when you book a consultation today.

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