3 Things To Do After An At-Fault Car Accident
Getting into a car accident is scary enough, but it's sometimes even more anxiety-inducing for the driver who was at fault. After all, if you or the other driver believe you caused the accident, you are at significant risk of facing fines, penalties, points on your license, higher insurance rates, and possibly even criminal charges depending on the details and severity of the accident. For these reasons, it's important to take action quickly in this difficult situation. Here are three things to do right away, after making sure the other driver is okay and calling the police:
Hire an Attorney
When you cause a car accident, having a good lawyer on your side is important for many reasons. There is a chance the person you hit will sue you, which is something your attorney can prepare you for so you know what to expect and what your rights are. You will have legal difficulties if you committed a crime (such as driving drunk or leaving the scene of the accident), and you will need an attorney to represent you before the judge and hopefully minimize the criminal penalties you're faced with.
In some cases, who was at fault in the car accident may be disputed, with you, the other driver, and witnesses all giving conflicting accounts of what happened. In this case, your attorney will gather evidence and prepare arguments to demonstrate that the accident was not your fault. If you win your case, you may even be entitled to a settlement.
Notify Your Insurance Company
It can be tempting to avoid letting your insurance company know about the accident, but this is a major mistake. It's important to inform them right away so they are not caught unaware when the other driver files an insurance claim. If you don't notify them of the accident, there is a chance they won't honor your policy and they may raise your rates or drop you as a customer.
Take a Defensive Driving Class
Once things have settled down and you are able to do so, it's a great idea to take a defensive driving class. If you end up having to go to court, taking a defensive driving class shows the judge that you are interested in becoming a more safe and responsible driver. Defensive driving classes can also help lower your insurance premium, which you will need after your accident causes your rate to increase.
Being at-fault in an accident is not a great situation, but by following these tips, you will be able to mitigate the consequences as much as possible. For more information and help, contact auto accident attorneys in your area.