Leave The Scene
The first instinct one may have after being involved in a car accident is to immediately flee the scene of the accident. Do not follow that instinct. Even if the accident seems harmless, it is irresponsible—not to mention illegal—to do so. In some of the worst cases, it may appear as a case of a hit-and-run, and you may be legally liable when you make such a mistake. Even worse, fleeing by foot in a state of panic and leaving your vehicle can cause additional legal complications.
Auto accidents always carry a risk of property damage and personal injury. Remaining in the area where the auto accident occurred is your best chance to determine the extent of such damage or injury, especially when they happen to you. Staying at the scene is the responsible thing to do. Not only will staying put be helpful to the investigation, but it will also increase your chances of successfully filing a claim if you were wronged.
Hand Out Information
Not all roads are monitored at all times, and in circumstances where you and another driver (or drivers) are involved in an accident, you might take it upon yourselves to talk to each other about what happened. While it is a humane thing to communicate with them, discussing the accident without the presence of authority is not advisable as any of you could end up giving unnecessary information.
As much as possible, limit your conversations with one another if law enforcement has not arrived. If officers are not immediately dispatched, it is best to contact them as soon as possible. Call 911 first because your well-being and that of others involved in the accident is the priority. Local authorities in charge should be notified of what happened, and when they arrive, that is the time you can begin explaining your side and describing what happened. You should provide personal information to the authorities only.
Lose Your Cool
As a general rule, keeping yourself cool, calm, and collected is the best way to handle most situations. As counterintuitive as it may seem, this is better than panicking or losing your temper. Panicking almost never helps, even when it seems to be a perfectly natural reaction. You might also lose your temper and want to confront the other driver. However, when you lose your cool, you lose in the situation.
Keep all of this in mind when emotions are running high after an accident. If you can stay in your car as you wait for the authorities or are being processed, do so. Take a deep breath and try to relax. You can step out of your vehicle, but not to confront or attack the other driver. Get some fresh air and keep your wits about you. You can’t imagine how aggression can worsen the event and possibly lead to other charges. Keep calm, let the authorities do their jobs, and hire an auto accident attorney to handle the case for you.