Recovering from Car Accidents
Practical Advice from Car Accident Attorneys
After an accident, you have a couple of things that you must do to protect yourself legally. Every car accident lawyer worth his name will give you practical legal advice on doing these things to protect yourself — know your rights. It’s important to take measures to defend yourself legally because you don’t know how the other party will respond, but sometimes they will come at you with underhanded tactics.
Never Admit Fault in a Car Accident
never admit it openly to the police or the other party.
Even if you believe you were at fault, never admit it openly to the police or the other party. Let the investigators look at the evidence from the accident to determine who was at fault. Emotions run high at accident scenes and sometimes what you witnessed can be wrong. For this reason, you’d be better off letting them investigate so that you don’t admit guilt contrary to the evidence. Even having an attorney can be difficult after you have disclosed fault to the responding officer and other party involved. It’s better to let the evidence speak for itself so that you can get the necessary compensation.
Be Cautious of Speaking with Insurance Adjusters from the Other Party
One of the most common tricks in the book comes from insurance adjusters from the other party trying to get you to make a statement. Never give a statement to the other party without your lawyer present. We have seen this lowdown tactic used time and time again against unwitting accident victims, and they do this to find inconsistencies in your statement. The insurance adjuster will take words that you said in innocence and use them against you. To be clear, you can give the insurance adjuster a statement, but you should always have your lawyer present to ensure that you don’t falsely incriminate yourself. Always keep in mind: The other party is not your friend.
Never Settle Immediately
The biggest lesson that we can give to our clients is that the other party is not your friend in the court system. Many times, the insurance company from the other driver will try to get you to sign a release for claims that you may have. We implore you never to sign anything until after you have spoken with your car accident attorney. Even if the sum of money looks attractive, you could be getting shorted. You may later come to find out that your car accident claim could’ve been worth 80 percent more than what they were offering. Clients should put the suit in front of an attorney because they will examine the evidence to decide how much compensation an individual rightfully deserves.
In many cases, you could be worthy of even more money. Many times, these insurance adjusters are looking for an easy way to get off the hook, and an unwitting person may sign the release without thinking. Also, they may try to rush you or pressure you, and we often tell our clients to decline and hang up politely.
To start, before you ever sign a release, you should first visit your doctor for a full examination. Besides, you should wait long enough to ensure that all the injuries from the accident have had time to manifest. Your doctor will give you the best time frame for this because every individual will have a different time frame for their injuries. After you have signed a release, you can’t later discover that you had more injuries and ask for further compensation. You have agreed to release these rights, which is why we recommend that you don’t sign anything without the careful guidance of an expert attorney. In signing anything, you have waived your right to get the rightful compensation that you deserve.
Common Records to Collect after a Car Accident
After you have gotten into a bang-up, you may want to collect some records to help your case for compensation. The right documentation can win or lose a case. For example, if a police officer responds to the scene of the accident, he will most likely have filed a police report. The report includes some of the essential information like statements from drivers, and traffic laws violated and the potential causes of the accident. To get a copy of the police report, you will need to look to the law enforcement agency that filed the report.
Also, you will want to look at the medical records that show you were injured in the accident. Some of the things you will wish to include pharmacy prescriptions, physical therapy, emergency room treatment and hospital admission. If your vehicle must go to the repair shop after an accident, keep a careful written record of everything that you have paid as a result of the car accident. While it depends on your insurance policy, you may have to give rein over to your insurance company for the repairs so that they can decide what is best.