No matter how careful you are, you can’t always prevent accidents. Mistakes are bound to happen, and in some cases, we are responsible; other times, it might be someone else. However, if you have been involved in an accident, you need to understand that you are legally entitled, and the best way to protect the legal rights you have is by first knowing what these rights are. In this article, we will be looking at the various ways to protect your lifestyle against legal problems after an accident.
Be Careful About What You Say
A car accident could be quite a distressing experience, and in the rush of the moment and adrenaline spike, people are moved to say things – good or bad – which are oftentimes misinterpreted. One needs to be careful about what they say at the accident scene. Even something as simple as “I’m sorry” could be taken as an admission of guilt.
It’s best you come out to observe as much as you can before saying anything. You don’t want your sympathy to be held as compelling evidence against you when further observation could show the other party has a part to play in the accident. Disclosing certain information could be detrimental to your insurance claim and even reduce your chances of winning the case. So, be mindful of what you say when you’re involved in an accident.
Gather as Much Evidence as You Can
Following an accident, the police usually conduct an investigation and document their findings in a large accident file. However, not all officers conduct thorough investigations. There may be evidence trails that could be pivotal, and you don’t want to leave those to the mercy of an officer’s discretion.
Accidents can be ghastly, and at times even fatal. While the former is salvageable, medical attention may be required. The safety of everyone is the top priority at an accident scene, however, it is also critical to take note of the scene and collect as much evidence as possible, as this may be useful in determining your compensation.
Contact an Attorney
This is the most important step you can take to protect your legal rights. Experienced attorneys at AttorneyNC believe that, as an accident victim, it is your right to seek legal advice from a legal personel who will take care of all legal issues to protect your interests – medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of earnings- and draft all the required paperwork while you focus on getting back on your feet. It’s an important step to take if you wish to win the case.
Do Not Be in a Hurry to Accept Early Settlement Proposals
Accident victims often need money to foot the medical bills and make up for lost wages. Insurance companies know this and often capitalize on it to reach out to victims with an offer. Most victims jump on the first offer they get without giving thought to other better alternatives. Note that regardless of what insurance companies offer, there’s always a massive gain for them, and most times, the victims get less than what they’re entitled to since it is in the insurance company’s best interest to cut down on settlement offers. It is important that victims shouldn’t accept any of such offers without first consulting an attorney about their rights.
You have a stronger claim if there are more witnesses to confirm your version of events. If witnesses are on the scene, ensure you are cordial and cooperative enough with them to get their contact information. Solicit their information concerning what they saw at the scene and ask if they’ll be willing to have their explanation documented in writing or recording.
Since most phones come with a camera, it’s easy to have visual evidence by taking photos of the accident scene, damage done to you, your vehicle, and other parties involved. It’s also important to take photos of the surroundings and look out for road signs, traffic lights, or anything that could have contributed to the accident. In the unlikely event that you don’t have your phone to take a picture of the surrounding scene, ask the witnesses if they’ll be willing to take them on your behalf.
Medical documents are important to help recover the damages from the guilty party or their insurance company. They are essential documents that serve as evidence of the injuries you sustained in the accident. It is vital to keep a record of the cost of all treatments and medications incurred as a result of the accident, as well as any documentation that points to the possibility of future treatments for your injuries.
Taking the right actions after an accident can strengthen your claim and reduce the financial expenses you’d otherwise incur if you didn’t take any action or took the wrong ones; it’s critical to take the right steps to protect your interests in such cases. Make sure not to leave any of the points listed above to chance, as they all work together to build solid evidence in your favor, which will eventually prove useful in court if it comes to that.