How to Protect Your Legal Rights After a Car Accident
Every year, there is an average of six million car accidents in the United States. Of those accidents, three million people are injured.
A car accident can cause serious injuries, damages, and sometimes even death. Despite the horrible aftermath of an accident, insurance companies don’t have your best interest in mind.
What can you do to protect your rights after a car accident? Keep reading to find out.
Call the Police
After a car accident, the first thing you should do to protect your legal rights is call the police. In most areas, it’s required by law to call the police after an accident.
When you report the accident, officers will create an accident report. This report details the situation and acts as evidence of the crash. You’ll need a copy of this report when you file a claim for damages.
When you give a statement to the police, don’t admit fault. Still, be as honest as you can about what occurred. You could think the accident was your fault, but it wasn’t.
Fault can only be determined by the courts. If you admit fault to the police, you are giving up your chances of collecting a settlement.
The information in the police report can help you receive fair compensation for your claim.
Document the Scene
Although the police report is essential to proving the accident, documentation is as well. A police report will have written details whereas you can include photos and videos of the scene to back up the claims.
Take photos and videos of everything. Use your phone camera to take pictures of the location, vehicles, nearby landmarks, and any other details.
You should also take pictures of injuries and damages to your car.
Ensure that the dates on the pictures are easily accessible. If you don’t have a phone camera or are too injured to document the scene, ask witnesses if they can do it for you.
It’s essential to have photo evidence of what happened to secure your rights after a car accident.
Your memory after the car accident might get a little fuzzy. While documenting the scene, write down things you remember about the accident. Your account of what happened is important for the claims process.
Take notes about how your injuries feel after the accident. Over time, you can continue noting if your pain has improved or progressed.
Write down the other driver’s car insurance information and the conversion you have with them. Dates and times are very significant so always include them in your entries.
Anything that you think could have a significant impact on your claim should be written down so that you can remember it.
Don’t Discuss Fault
If you assume that the other driver is at fault, it’s important to not let them persuade you otherwise. To protect your rights during a car accident case, you need to call the police despite what the other driver says.
It’s a red flag when another driver wants to handle the accident between the two of you.
Drivers that want to avoid police involvement are often guilty somehow. They might not have enough insurance, drive without a license, or have something else on their record that they don’t want the police to find out about.
Don’t worry about the rights of the other driver. Protect your own rights by trusting your instincts.
Talk to Witnesses
Part of the documentation after a car accident is witness testimonies. A police report may gather witness information, but it’s important for you to talk to them as well.
Other people on the road see car accidents happen. If these witnesses stuck around to help out, talk to them and get their contact information.
The more witness testimonies you have, the stronger your claim will be. A car accident lawyer will reach out to these people who play a key role in protecting your rights.
Receive Medical Care
If you don’t seek medical attention, the insurance company you file a claim with could say that you weren’t injured in the accident. To protect your rights, always receive medical care after a car accident.
Be honest with a doctor about any pain or discomfort you are feeling, this includes emotional distress. Even if you don’t think you have injuries, something could manifest over time.
Early treatment can reduce pain and keep the injuries from getting worse. Follow all orders from your doctor. You risk losing your settlement if you don’t follow your treatment plan.
Medical records, bills, and doctor notes are evidence in an injury claim. To demonstrate physical damages, you’ll need this documentation as evidence.
Have Your Car Inspected
After getting treatment for your car accident injuries, have your car damage inspected. Getting an estimate for repairs to your car can aid in getting you a fair settlement that covers all expenses you endured after the accident.
If your car had to be towed after the accident, keep the receipt detailing the fees.
The other driver’s insurance company might provide you with a third-party company to inspect your vehicle’s damages. Talk to other inspectors too in case they try to lowball you.
Seeing two to three mechanics for estimates can help your argument for why you deserve more than what the insurance company is offering.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
After a Santa Ana car accident, taking care of yourself is the main priority. However, there are predatory insurance adjusters who will do what they can to deny your claim.
Protect your legal rights by following the steps in this guide. Get the police involved, document the scene, talk to witnesses and receive medical care.
Most importantly, hire a car accident lawyer that will fight for your right to a fair claims process. Contact us now to better your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.