A car accident is a scary event, but it can be absolutely nerve-racking for a first-timer. A car accident can have a long lasting financial impact, so the first reaction of many new drivers is to downplay the accident as soon as it happens. But that's one of the worst things a driver can do. Here's a look at three of the biggest mistakes that drivers often make after their first car accident.
#1 Not Calling The Police
By far the most common mistake that a young or inexperienced driver makes after their first car accident is not calling the police. It's an easy mistake to make though. Car accidents are scary enough, and involving the police makes things seem serious. A novice driver might be tempted to glance at a car after an accident and not think damage is severe enough to warrant police involvement or might even be talked into not calling the police by the other driver. A general rule is that if there's any damage to a vehicle, it's best to call 911, even if nobody is hurt.
#2 Not Involving The Insurance Company
Another big temptation after not involving the police is not involving insurance companies. It's sometimes common in a car accident for one party to agree to pay for damages out of pocket, but you don't know for sure that the other driver will follow through. Beyond that, problems that might look minor at first may become much more major when things are investigated more thoroughly.
#3 Accepting A Settlement Too Soon
In just about every case, an insurance company's goal is to pay out as little money as possible. Insurance companies often pressure drivers to accept a settlement quickly after an accident -- and this settlement is often too little. And if a driver accepts a quick settlement, that could pose problems if more serious injuries are found later or if healing doesn't quite go as expected. In general terms, accepting an insurance company's first offer is a mistake. Insurance companies often start low with negotiations heavily tilted in their favor, hoping to lure inexperienced drivers to a cheap settlement.
If you've been involved in your first accident or you're helping someone who has, a great first course of action would be to get legal help. A car accident is something that most people only deal with a small handful of times in their life, but a professional lawyer has probably dealt with hundreds of cases and knows how to make the process go as smoothly and as quickly as possible. Talk with an auto accident lawyer or click here for more info on what to do after you get in a car accident.