Don’t Be Fooled by These Car Accident Myths

If I had to make a list of the least fun things I know of, car accidents would certainly be up there. Not only do they come with the obvious problems, but they’re also quite complex. We think they’re pretty simple, if unpleasant. But people actually hold a lot of misconceptions about car accidents.

I’m not in that much pain. Everything is fine!

A lot of people have been involved in a car accident and have managed to escape all injury. Heck, even a recent and severe minibus crash left a pregnant woman completely unscathed. It just happens sometimes. The laws of physics worked in their favor. But this doesn’t mean that the fact that you don’t feel much or even any pain after the accident means you’ve walked away in a similar fashion.

It’s important to keep this in mind regardless of the type of crash you experienced. You may only associate car accident injuries with really bad crashes. Ones that see cars flipping over, or ones that involve smash windshields, or ones that involve fires. But the amount of damage done to the vehicle isn’t directly related to the amount of damage you’ve taken. Make sure you get yourself checked out. Keep an eye on your wellbeing over the coming weeks. Sometimes, injuries don’t make themselves known for days.

Seeking medical assistance will affect my insurance

People are often worried about the cost of their car insurance. This is a pretty understandable worry, of course. Car insurance costs still tend to run too high for most people. (Even when you take into account the multiple ways in which you can save money on your car insurance.) So they’ll often do as much as they can to avoid making the whole thing more expensive or complex. One of most damaging myths around is that your insurance will go up if you see a doctor.

This isn’t true. Your insurance is only going to go up if you are deemed to be at fault after the investigation. Sometimes, your insurance company may not even decide to increase the cost then. The law dictates that the insurance company cannot increase the costs if you seek medical assistance and bill your own medical bills to them. This is also the case even if the other driver wasn’t insured. Car insurance rates are usually determined by the points on your license. Rates only tend to go up if you start getting points.

Minor accidents don’t require information exchanges

Maybe it was just a fender bender. Heck, maybe it wasn’t even that. Just a minor scuff. The cars barely even touched each other. Why bother getting out, right? Such a minor bump surely doesn’t need everyone pulling up so they can spend around ten minutes exchanging details. We all have better things to do. Let’s not dwell too much on it.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, none of that is the right approach to this problem. No matter how minor you perceive the accident to be, you need to follow the usual protocol. If you don’t pull over and file a report, no matter how minor the accident is, you could find yourself in a lot of legal trouble. After all, you don’t know what the other driver is thinking. If they decide they want to call it in, then the police are going to be in touch with you very soon. And, by the end of the investigation, you’ll probably be accused of being at fault.

All accidents great and small need to be dealt with in the same way. You need to pull over as soon as possible and check for injuries. Take a note of the time, the location, and the date. Get out and make sure the other driver is okay. Start swapping details, without admitting fault or blaming anyone. Seriously; it may feel natural, but don’t say sorry.

Getting a lawyer isn’t worth it

Lawyers aren’t the cheapest people on the planet to work with, it’s true. The problem with this fact is that it often leads people to think that lawyers aren’t worth the money. But this depends entirely on the outcome of the scenario, as well as the protection you’ll get in the meantime. Let’s say that this car accident requires you to go to court. Maybe you’ve been accused of being at fault. Maybe you’re trying to get compensation. Whatever the case, trying to represent yourself would be a mistake.

It’s always worth consulting a lawyer in these cases. Even if you’re not sure if a case needs to go to court, it’s best to get some advice. This is especially true if you’ve been injured in the accident. If the accident wasn’t your fault, then it isn’t fair for you to have to deal with the injury yourself. A personal injury needs to be taken seriously, and compensation should be sought. Try considering a firm with a no-win-no-fee policy, as detailed by Brown & Crouppen.

It was either your fault or their fault

People tend to take quite a black and white view of things when it comes to car accidents. They believe that only one of the drivers can truly have been at fault. And it’s true that this is very often the case. If someone was driving along the wrong side of the road and hits another driver head-on? Then it’s easy to deduce that the person driving on the wrong side of the road is 100% at fault, right? Well, most of the time, sure. But it’s not always so simple. After all, how far away was the other driver? Did they keep driving despite there being another car coming at them? Why? Were they not paying attention?

Fault determination is a more complex game than people think. In fact, fault percentages are often employed when it comes to this. And I don’t mean that fault can either be one driver’s, the other’s, or both equally. Insurance companies will use a range of other percentages to determine fault. The other driver may be determined to have been at 95% fault, while you were a teensy bit to blame at 5%.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.