Getting into an accident is always stressful. It’s even more stressful if you think the accident was your fault.

Although there are things you should do when you’re in an accident, whether you’re at fault or not, there are some things you should focus on doing if you think you’re the one who caused the crash.

Don’t Assume It’s All Your Fault

Five Things to Do if You Think You’re at Fault for an Accident

It may seem obvious that you were at fault. Sometimes that’s because you really are at fault, but sometimes, that’s just because there was something you could have done to prevent it. They aren’t the same thing.

Determining fault is a lot more complex than most people think. That’s because it’s not just the drivers involved in the accident that can be the reason for the crash.

For example, the person who caused the T-bone in a T-bone accident may not be the one to blame. Instead, the problem could be with:

  • Road design with a poor line of sight
  • Vehicle defects
  • Old, hard-to-see, or inaccurate signage
  • Road conditions

It’s also possible that the fault doesn’t fall with just one person or one thing. You may have been the one speeding through a yellow light, but the other driver could have a small amount of fault for not being aware enough to see that you weren’t going to stop.

Never Admit Fault

Whether you think you’re the one at fault or not, you should never admit it. That includes never admitting fault at the scene of the accident, but it also means never admitting fault with your car insurance.

This piece of advice seems obvious and simple to follow, but it’s more difficult than you think. If you apologize to the other driver or if you admit there is something you shouldn’t have done to the police officer on the scene, you could be admitting fault.

Instead, focus on answering questions directly with factual answers. As mentioned above, you may not be at fault after all, so it’s better to let the police and insurance companies determine who caused the crash.

Report and Cooperate

There are things you should do immediately after an accident while you’re still on the scene. It includes things like assessing the damage to the cars involved and possible injuries, but it is extremely important to report the accident and cooperate throughout the process.

Immediately after the accident, you should call the police or highway patrol. Make sure you answer the police officer’s questions, but there’s no need to offer up any information that isn’t asked. Don’t feel like you have to hang out with the other person involved in the accident, as you may be tempted to apologize and admit fault.

You should also get the claims process started with your insurance company. Be as kind, honest, and understanding as possible. If you don’t feel like the insurance company is treating you right, or if there may be litigation in your case, don’t shy away from contacting an attorney for help.

Get Support

Experiencing a car accident can affect your life long after the dust settles, especially if you think you’re the one who caused the accident.

You may experience a physical injury, in which case you should get support from your doctor. Follow their recommendations when it comes to medication and things like physical therapy.

You aren’t alone if you experience PTSD symptoms after an accident. Getting support might mean seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist.

Don’t forget your friends and family! Invite people over, catch up on the phone, and go out to eat. Having others present in your life can make getting over an accident easier.

Continue Living Your Life

Both physical and mental challenges after an accident can cause you to sleep in late, stay up late, and spend a lot more time on the couch watching TV. If you blame yourself for the accident, you may not want to get behind the wheel again.

Do your best to keep a routine and continue living your life after the accident. Get exercise, engage in hobbies, cook healthy meals, and return to your normal life as soon as possible. An accident shouldn’t rule your life, whether it was your fault or not.

Mistakes happen. Whether you were technically at fault for an accident or not, just thinking you are can make life difficult to live. Follow these tips to get through the accident as fairly as possible so you can get back to living your life.