Car accidents are a fact of modern life that many of us will experience at least once or twice in our lives. Since these accidents happen out of the blue without advance notice, it is vital for everyone to know what to do (and not to do) ahead of time in order to protect your rights, freedom and pocketbook. When a car accident does occur, many do not think clearly and make mistakes that can turn out to be costly. Here are some of the top things not to do after a car accident: Leaving the scene of the accident Many people think that it is okay to drive away from the accident scene if no one is hurt and the property damage is minor. However, this is a crime in New Jersey. Under the law, drivers that do this can face fines and jail time. If a person flees from an accident that caused someone to be injured, the penalties are significantly more severe. Agreeing not to call the police Sometimes, drivers want to avoid calling 911 to report the accident, especially if it seems that there were only minor damages. However, this can ultimately come back to haunt those that agree to this. Since there would be no accident report documenting how the injuries and property damage occurred, this can lead to a denial of compensation by the insurance company. Additionally, the other driver may have a reason that he or she does not want to involve the authorities, such as outstanding warrants or a suspended license, which, from a legal standpoint, would be in the driver's best interest to report. Failing to document the scene Although it may not seem natural to write down descriptions of what happened or take pictures following the accident, failing to do so can later harm your ability to recover compensation, as police reports may not always be accurate. If you are able, take a few pictures of the scene from different angles with your cellphone camera or write down the facts of the accident in order to preserve this vital evidence for later on. Failing to get medical treatment Unfortunately, even though most insurance companies cover medical exams following an accident, many people do not take advantage of this. However, failing to do so makes it easy for the insurance company to claim that there were no serious injuries in the crash and severely limit compensation as a result. Since some serious conditions do not manifest themselves immediately, it is a good idea to get checked out even if you feel fine. Doing this will help you establish your right to fair compensation later. Assuming you will get a fair deal from your insurer Insurance companies are not charities. Their goal is to make money by paying out the least that they can on every claim. Unfortunately, your claim is no different. As a result, it is best to call in the professionals to help you out. The seasoned personal injury attorneys at the Epstein Law Firm, P.A. deal with insurance companies every day. They can work on your behalf to ensure that you get fair and adequate compensation for all of your losses resulting from the accident.