Understand Your Legal Rights After A Car Accident: 5 Principal Aspects To Consider
Automobile accidents can leave you as the victim feeling helpless, stressed and as if you have no control over the situation; not to mention in pain. The intense emotional, physical and financial consequences that can arise as a result of a serious car accident are generally very overwhelming for you as the victim. Despite how helpless you might feel, there are legal rights that you have that will ultimately allow you to regain control of the situation through pursuing fair compensation.
With the medical bills piling up and the paychecks just not quite what they used to be since you were injured in the accident, you might be entitled to certain compensation and need a great personal injury attorney to get you the funds that you deserve. Here are 5 factors to consider when looking at your legal rights following a car accident.
Report the Incident
More than likely a passerby or witness will have already called the authorities to report the accident, but just to be safe you should be sure to do so yourself– if possible, that is. Once the authorities arrive on the scene be careful as to what you say and the actions you take. Remember the following points at all times.
Surely you have heard the phrase “you have the right to remain silent” before, maybe not directed at you and though the circumstances were likely different, this a phrase that you need to take very seriously in the moments following a car accident. Admitting fault or pointing a finger of blame is the most common mistake that potential litigants make after a car accident. In a personal injury case the rules of evidence do not usually allow for the entry of “hearsay.” However, there are exceptions for admissions and so you need err on the side of caution. Something so simple as an apology can and very easily might, be used against you in a court of law.
The moments following an accident can quickly become nothing more than a blur to you, and rightfully so after a traumatic experience. That being said, it is of the utmost importance that when possible you do everything in your power to document every last detail. From pictures of the scene and surrounding areas, to statements made by the other party or persons involved, to any other eye witness accounts, take care to note it all. You can use a tablet or your smartphone to record statements from the other party, which will prove extremely useful in a personal injury case — given your personal injury attorney finds the evidence to be in your favor. Take care to gather as much as you can. That is, without crossing any legal lines or potentially endangering your case by tampering with evidence. Look, do not touch.
Take down the other drivers, additional parties and witness’s information including:
· Driver’s license numbers;
· Full names;
· Descriptions of the road conditions;
· Traffic conditions;
· Telephone numbers;
· Statements; and
· How they were involved in the accident.
Accept Medical Attention
Although you may not find it necessary at the time, it is important to let a medical professional evaluate you following the accident. Whiplash for example, is one of those injuries that can go unnoticed in the hours or even days following an accident. Concussions are also common and can easily go unnoticed. If you decide to decline medical attention on the scene and pursue it in the hours or days following the incident, take care to keep proper documentation of all medical bills and prescription costs.
Legal Rights Following an Accident
Following the above steps are essential to protecting your rights as a victim in an injury crash. Every victim has basic rights in a personal injury case that involve the right to file a claim against the party or parties responsible for the accident. Your legal rights might be affected by insurance stipulations (such as coverage and liabilities), state laws or rules, and the types of damages that will come into play.
Because there are specific laws in each state that govern a victim’s rights to certain compensation and damages, as well as that dictates the steps necessary to file a claim for a personal injury case, it is therefore recommended that you seek the professional assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney to get you the compensation that you deserve.
If you have advice to share with other victims about key considerations following an injury accident, please share. We would love to hear your insight!