What Not to do After a Car Accident
Most of us will be involved in a traffic accident at some point in our lives. It may be a minor fender bender or something more serious, but regardless of how awful a crash may be there are steps that should be taken to secure your legal rights and obtain the best possible outcome.
Never Leave the Scene of an Accident
You may have heard of the fight-or-flight response to a traumatic situation. This is where a person’s adrenaline rushes through the body when they are faced with a terrifying or stressful situation such as a car accident. They either stay and fight the threat or run as fast as they can away from it. There may be other reasons besides fear that compel a driver to leave the scene of an accident including not having insurance, unlicensed, criminal background, drugs or alcohol and more, but none of them are valid. It only makes it worse if you flee. The reason you must stop is because it’s not only the law, but it’s the morally right thing to do.
Sure there are situations where it may be obvious to all drivers involved that there is no damage and no one is injured, but it’s best to protect yourself by speaking with all involved parties and exchanging information with them at the scene. You don’t want to be accused of a crime down the road.
Don’t Discuss Who is at Fault
Most people are upset when they’ve been in an accident regardless of whose fault it is, however, the best thing you can do after a crash is be polite, exchange information, take photographs and don’t discuss what happened or who is at fault with the other driver. Never accuse the other driver of being at fault and never admit you are at fault. The facts should be reported to a police officer who will determine liability based on those details.
Just Say No to Recorded Statements
We advise our clients to say no if the other driver’s insurance company asks for a recorded statement. These recordings can be used against you so it’s not in your best interest to grant it. If you hire a personal injury attorney, however, we can offer the insurance company your written statement. Keep in mind that these insurance adjusters are gathering information that will be used against you and can potentially diminish the value of your claim. On the other hand, a personal injury lawyer is helping you to maximize the value of your claim. Studies have shown that typically, motorists who are represented by an attorney obtain claims that are 3.5 times higher than those who are unrepresented.
Anyone who has been involved in a car accident knows how inconvenient it is to be without your vehicle, but it’s even worse if you are losing time off work or are hurt and unable to enjoy life as you once knew it. The last thing you want to do is ruin your chances of recovering your losses and becoming whole again.
Take steps to secure your legal rights by speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
Call Johnson Attorneys Group for a free consultation at 800-235-6801.