If you were involved in a car accident and you were clearly at fault, it is important to know what you should and shouldn’t do, because taking the wrong actions can cost you money and cause extra hassle that can be avoided. Hiring a motor vehicle accident lawyer after a car accident that was your fault is a good first step, before speaking to the insurance companies. Lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies and can help mitigate any claims that are made against you by the other parties involved in the accident.
What You Should Do After You Think You Caused a Car Accident
If you think (or know for sure) that you caused an accident to occur, try to stay calm. There are steps you should do after a car accident whether or not you were at fault, and you should stay focused to ensure you do (or don’t do) certain things.
There are a few things to keep in mind following a car accident. First, never leave the scene of an accident. You could be turning a bad situation into a much worse situation that may involve criminal charges. At the bare minimum, you should exchange insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. If there is some degree of property damage or a person has been hurt, you are expected to call the police. While you wait for the authorities to arrive, it is best to keep to yourself and avoid saying anything that could make the situation worse for you. Don’t admit fault or apologize, even if you suspect you were the cause of the accident. It’s understandable to feel nervous and shaken under the circumstances but you should avoid the following:
- Discussing what you were doing prior to the crash
- Talking about who you think was to blame
- Apologizing or making any statements that may indicate you were at fault
- Asking the other driver questions to try to determine whether they made a mistake as well
After a car accident, it is important to understand the insurance options. Certain states have different options when it comes to insurance claims for car accidents.
There are several states that have no fault insurance laws which means that every driver has their own car insurance, and you will make a claim with your own insurance company whether or not you were at fault. No-fault coverage should provide benefits for your medical bills and lost wages whether you were at fault or not. New Jersey is a no fault insurance state.
In a fault-based state, you will file an insurance claim with the company that covers the at-fault driver. That driver’s policy should provide benefits for an accident victim’s medical costs and other losses. New Jersey is not a fault based state, so this is likely not going to affect you unless you were in an accident out of state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
This is an extension of car insurance that covers medical expenses. If you were injured in a car accident, regardless of fault, unless it’s indicated that your health insurance is primary, medical treatment should be paid through your auto insurance via personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Talk to an Experienced NJ Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were involved in a car accident where you are at fault, it is in your best interest to have a lawyer on your side. The NJ car accident lawyers at Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.