Most people are not familiar with how to protect their rights after they experience a car accident. It’s important a victim take the proper steps to protect their ability to receive fair compensation for property damage as well as any injury resulting from the accident. In many cases, this will require persistence, documentation, patience and an understanding of the process.
Accident Scene Documentation
The moments after a car accident may be chaotic. Getting any injuries treated by medical professionals should be an immediate priority. It is possible for a person to have sustained only minor injuries or none at all. When this is the case, a car accident victim can help their situation by carefully documenting the crash scene. This may also be a good time to write down everything that occurred prior to the accident.
Most people are not familiar with the work done by an insurance company’s claims adjusters. The goal of a claims adjuster is to settle a car accident claim by paying the least amount of money possible. This is a situation where a car accident lawyer can help a crash victim. They will know the process involved and how to obtain a fair settlement.
Never Admit Fault
When a person is in an accident, they should not talk to anybody about it but a legal professional. When a person does this, it could significantly jeopardize their claim. Many things happen during the car accident claims process. An individual may not know everything that occurred until all the facts are collected. A person should not admit fault for the accident to their insurance company, passengers or anyone else. It may be best to provide an honest report of what happened to an insurance company after speaking with a legal professional.
If possible, it is good to try and photograph the accident scene with a phone or camera. It is key to be able to reference the date and time the photographs were taken. This will make it easier to authenticate them if necessary. In some situations, accident victims without a phone or camera have had success asking a witness to take pictures of the accident scene. Should a faulty traffic sign or light be involved in the accident, photographs of it will be important.
Mistakes to Avoid
An experienced attorney will know how to help a person avoid doing anything that could harm them. It is important an accident victim to not settle until all their medical treatments are finished, and all injuries are properly healed. Until this happens, an accident victim won’t know their total medical costs. Any release or checks attached to a release form should be reviewed by an attorney. It’s also important to avoid discussing the accident in person as well as online unless approved by an attorney.
When the victim of a car accident experiences property damage, they will need to get repair estimates. It is common for an insurance company to provide locations a person can use to get repair estimates. When doing this, it may also be important to get estimates from places other than those recommended by the insurance company.
Avoid Early Settlement Offers
When an insurance adjuster provides an initial settlement offer, it will be low. An experienced attorney will know how to handle this situation and can provide a proper counter offer. After a period of negotiation, an acceptable settlement offer could be reached. If not, it may be time to file a lawsuit and take the insurance company to court. In some situations, this may be the only way to get a fair settlement.
It’s important for a person to know their rights after experiencing a car accident. An innocent mistake can significantly impact any settlement amount paid by an insurance company. An attorney will know how to avoid mistakes and protect a car accident victim’s rights.