People don’t expect to get into car crashes, so they often struggle to respond appropriately in the moments immediately following a wreck. In the chaos after a initial collision, someone’s instinctual responses can sometimes lead to them make major mistakes. Those errors in judgment can affect their legal rights and financial options after the collision.
What are some of the most common and concerning errors drivers may make after a crash? And why, if you are involved in a wreck, should you take steps to avoid them?
Leaving the scene without filing a report
With the exception of scenarios where someone needs immediate medical attention and cannot wait for emergency transportation, it is generally not legal to leave the scene of a crash. Any crash that causes injury to people or $500 worth of property damage or more is a collision that drivers must report to the state. Even if the other driver offers to pay for someone’s costs with their own resources, failing to report the crash would make it nearly impossible to enforce that verbal agreement.
Apologizing to the other driver or the police
Especially when the weather is bad or the timing of the crash is particularly inconvenient, motorists involved in a collision may have an instinctual desire to apologize to everyone involved even though they know they are not at fault. However, police officers, insurance professionals and the civil courts may interpret apologies as admissions of fault, which means that those who say they are sorry for a crash may have a harder time getting compensation for it later.
Failing to seek medical care
People frequently think that they will be able to spot the signs of a serious injury in themselves or the occupants of their vehicle immediately after a crash occurs. What they fail to consider is that even serious traumatic injuries can be hard to identify when someone feels stressed. The chemical response in the human body to traumas like a crash can mask initial symptoms. Additionally, people may have stable spinal cord injuries or fractures that will simply get worse if they don’t receive treatment. They may also have a brain injury or internal bleeding that will need to reach a dangerous point before it becomes obvious to someone with no medical training.
Finally, many drivers not at fault for crashes make the mistake of settling with an insurance company before they know the full cost of the collision, which will leave them unable to seek more compensation in the future. Learning about and avoiding common mistakes that drivers make following Kentucky collisions may benefit those who eventually get into a serious wreck to safeguard their interests in the aftermath of those injurious circumstances.