Did you know that there is a one in three chance that you will have a car accident at least once in your life? You can’t be too careful when you are behind the wheel, and you always must watch out for the other person. Even if you are the most careful driver, you might still be involved in an accident by another driver.
If you are involved in a vehicle crash it is important to know how to handle the aftermath and legal proceedings are an important part of this. So, what should you do and not do in a situation like this? Here are some legal tips to consider.
1. Never Admit Fault
Even if you believe that you are at fault for the incident, never state it out loud. The other driver and/or their insurance company might put pressure on you to take responsibility for the crash, but do not let yourself be guilted into it. Just remember that anything you say can and will be used against you to make you pay for the incident.
By admitting fault, it will be your and your insurance company’s legal obligation to offer compensation for damages that were sustained during the accident. But you want officials to do a thorough investigation and come to their own conclusions before you pay a dime.
If none of the drivers involved in the car accident admits fault, this will be determined by insurance adjusters, after a driver files a claim. So, if a claim is filed against you by the other motion, the incident will be thoroughly analyzed by adjusters from both of the drivers’ insurance companies.
During the investigation, adjusters will try to determine fault by taking a closer look at the decisions and actions of all the people involved in the accident. Sometimes new information can surface that can shed a different light on the events. So, even if it might look like the accident was your fault, there might be certain events that
2. Always Get A Police Report
The police report serves as important evidence if you will end up before a judge. The officer will do a small-scale investigation at the scene, and they will cite whomever they feel is responsible. Don’t argue with them and never lie, but make sure you state facts if it helps to prove your innocence.
Also, if the other driver throws any accusations your way, try to ignore him and stick to presenting how events happened from your perspective. Words are not enough, what is needed is actual proof that the accident was caused by you. Otherwise, such accusations are of no consequence.
The other driver can only receive compensation from you once proof was obtained and presented. But while they are busy looking for evidence, you can also work on building a strong case for yourself.
Do not respond to his provocation or engage in heated arguments. Tensions might be high on all sides, but it will not serve your case if you start to further fuel them. Even if it is not easy, try your best to maintain a calm and detached attitude. This will not only benefit your case but will also help you keep a clear head and ease your decision-making process.
3. Don’t Move the Vehicles Unless Law Dictates
The first thing you want to do when you are involved in an accident is to move the vehicle from the roadway. While that seems like the smart thing to do, you need to see what your local area recommends. Some municipalities view moving the car as a way of messing with evidence, and you can get in trouble. When you call the police for help, make sure you ask them the protocol for your local area and then act accordingly.
4. Never Refuse Medical Care
The police will ask if you want an ambulance to come to the scene. It would help if you never refused medical care as even this can be used against you. But if your injuries are not severe enough for a squad, make sure you go to the hospital within 24 hours.
Many injuries do not reveal themselves right away, especially when you have adrenaline and cortisol pulsing through your body. You will know the full extent of your injuries in a day or two, sometimes up to a week later.
5. Never Give A Statement Without an Attorney Present
If you want to make sure that you do not diminish your chances to recover payment for the damages sustained during the crash, contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
The insurance company will contact you for an official statement of what happened. Remember, these people are not your friends. Their goal is to settle the case as quickly as possible by paying as little as they can. They can twist your words and use them to further their agenda.
It is always best to have a car accident lawyer present when you make any such statements. If representatives from your insurance company call and ask for a statement, you have the right to refuse until you have legal counsel present.
6. Don’t Settle Without Legal Help
The insurance company will want to settle the case right away, mainly to avoid being liable for any other doctor bills from that point forward. Do not discuss any figures with them. Once you have an attorney on board, they must refer all their questions to your legal representation.
Help in An Accident
When you have been involved in an accident, your goal is to make sure you and everyone around you are okay. Only after that, you should start doing the following:
•Get witness statements
•Call an attorney
•Get medical help
Having an attorney who can legally handle a claim for you will allow you to put your focus on healing. Without an attorney, the insurance company will take advantage of the situation and try to settle for far less than what you deserve. Don’t delay getting legal representation, the sooner you have them on board, the easier it is for them to gather the evidence they need to build you a solid case. Having an attorney on your side will make all the difference in your compensation.