People can give some pretty bad advice, and when it’s your first car wreck, you might not know what to believe. There is some really bad advice, and this is the worst advice that we’ve heard about car accidents, usually after people have had their first crash and learned the hard way about things like how helpful it is to get a trusted car accident attorney. Some of these are just not courteous or fair to you, and others are outright illegal.
“If No One is Around, Just Leave”
Explicitly, Ohio law states that a person must remain at the scene of the crash until exchanging info with the other driver. That’s not negotiable. Leaving the scene can result in serious fines and, if you make a habit of it, possibly jail time. It’s also one of those things that are just clearly not the right thing to do.
During training or test-preparation for a permit or license, this is clearly explained. That means that no one with a permit or license has the excuse of not knowing. Aside from that, it’s generally immoral. Hitting someone and then taking off doesn’t mean that you didn’t do it, and it doesn’t mean you won’t get in trouble. Anyone around could have gotten your license plate number. Even if there was no one there, it’s possible that a security camera off of a nearby building or traffic sign captured the entire incident, including your car’s make, model, and maybe the plate numbers.
“Don’t Worry About Calling the Cops.”
This is a common one that people are told from the other driver involved in the accident. Anytime that the person you hit advises against something such as contacting the police or the insurance companies, they’re in the wrong. Always contact the police to file a crash report. It protects you and the other driver by having a clear statement of what happened.
Most people say this because they’re worried about the police coming out to the scene. Police hardly ever actually respond to the crash unless someone is hurt. Additionally, they often don’t write citations unless someone clearly violated a traffic law such as speeding, or an illegal maneuver.
Bully the Person Into Avoiding Insurance Companies
You should not ever tell someone that you’re not going to call your insurance company, or that they shouldn’t call theirs. In fact, your insurance company can use it against you, and theirs can too. For example, their insurance company could come back, saying that you were trying to avoid responsibility because you were clearly liable. That doesn’t mean you were liable for the crash, just that they believed you are because you didn’t want to tell anyone.
Take Care of the Repairs Yourself
Can you save money by doing the repairs yourself? No, because unless the repair comes out to be less than your deductible, then you’re going to need some help from your insurance company. Even if you factor in your premiums going up, it still comes out to be less than covering the damages yourself.
This bit of advice is one of those instances where it probably came from a good spot. Someone probably got shorted from their insurance company and had their rates go up, and that bad experience led them to believe it was cheaper to do the repairs yourself.
When you have repairs to make, contact an attorney to make sure that you don’t miss out on the compensation that you deserve. You’ve paid into insurance for a long time, and that means that now that you have a crash, it’s their turn to take care of you.
“Just Take What Insurance Gives You”
Usually, insurance companies will provide the absolute minimum that they can get away with, and that means you will hardly ever get what you deserve. After a crash, insurance should cover your injuries, time lost, pain and suffering, as well as your property damage. Some people have even gone as far as to claim the cost to replace their phones.
Do the Right Thing, Contact an Attorney
No doubt, there is a ton of bad advice everywhere. But when it comes to resolving a car accident, it isn’t just between you and the driver. Every crash involves insurance companies, attorneys, and can impact your driving record. Trying to handle things on your own or navigate complex aspects of a crash with only your insurance may leave you in debt to this crash for years.
Contact Young, Reverman, and Mazzei for car accident case help. We happily service Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Eastern Indiana. We can help you set up a consultation and start fighting for your claim.