Auto accidents are a common occurrence, but their aftermath is widely misunderstood. In fact, many people find themselves making costly mistakes simply because they don't understand the steps that are required to protect their legal rights. That's why your auto accident lawyer wants you to know the most common steps that can cost you your right to file a claim or a settlement that you might otherwise be entitled to. Here's a look at some of the things that your auto accident lawyer wants you to know.
Don't Ever Acknowledge Fault Before Talking To A Lawyer
In the aftermath of an accident, you may find yourself disoriented, confused, and in disarray. As a result, your first instinct may be to say that you are sorry or something similar. This can be misconstrued as claiming fault in the accident. In an age of cell phone cameras when everything seems to be captured on video, you want to avoid having any kind of admission of fault, no matter how indirect, from being captured on video.
Furthermore, when speaking to law enforcement at the scene, avoid making any statements that could admit fault, whether you think they could be interpreted that way or not. For example, don't say that you looked away for a second or that you didn't mean to do something. Answer the officer's questions as specifically and briefly as possible without giving any indication of responsibility.
Always Call The Police
One thing that many drivers don't always appreciate is the importance of calling law enforcement following an accident. You might think, in the initial moments, that the accident is minor and you don't really need law enforcement, but the truth is that you should call the police for every accident. In fact, the law requires that the police be called for an accident, otherwise, you could be charged with leaving the scene, which is a crime. If you fail to call the police, you can face charges.
Not to mention, the police report written for the accident is equally important. That police report will be an important component of your case if you file one. It will be submitted as evidence because the police report will detail their findings from the investigation, including not only what happened, but also who they deem is legally at fault.
For those reasons, it's essential that you call the police from the scene. Don't leave the scene until a police report has been filed.
Go To The Hospital
When you call the police to respond to the accident, one of the things that they will typically do is also send medical professionals for emergency medical care. Even if you feel as though the accident was minor and you're not injured, you should still let them triage you for any potential injuries.
Remember that injuries following a car accident are often soft tissue injuries, which won't necessarily become apparent to you until the next day or after. If, after you're assessed on-scene, you experience pain or discomfort, you should also go to the hospital for further assessment and treatment. Have every injury documented as part of your claim.
These are some of the most important things for you to consider when you're in a car accident. The more you understand, the easier it is for you to protect your legal rights after that accident. Talk with an auto accident law attorney today for more help and information. They can prepare you for an accident before it happens, or can guide you through the legal filing and negotiations that come after an accident has already occurred. Contact a local law firm, such as Dressler Law, to learn more.