If you’ve been injured because of a car accident that was not your fault, then you have a right to compensation. It’s important that you protect this right.
This article will tell you how you can protect your rights after you’ve been involved in a car accident:
Phone the Police
The first thing to do after being involved in a car accident is to phone the police. Reporting your accident is crucial if the accident resulted in injury or property damage.
By phoning the police, you also have an official record made by the responding law enforcement officers. This can be useful later in case somebody disputes your version of events. You might also need to phone an ambulance if anybody involved in the accident is injured. Failing to phone an ambulance could actually constitute negligent behavior, which can turn a case in the defendant’s favor later down the line.
Work with a Lawyer
Don’t overlook the benefit of hiring a lawyer. A lawyer will help you to calculate your damages, protect your rights, and to communicate with the defendant’s insurance company. They will also represent you in court if necessary. As indicated at Attwood Marshall, a firm that offers accident legal advice in Gold Coast, lawyers can also represent you on a no-win-no-fee basis. It’s crucial to your case’s success that you contact a lawyer in the aftermath of a car accident.
After you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important that you do not admit fault. If you admit fault, you reduce your chances of winning your personal injury case.
Some people admit fault accidentally or apologetically. Make sure that you never do this. Fault for an accident can only be determined by a judge, and not by you. Even if it appears that you were at fault at first glance, this might actually not be the case. Don’t feel pressured into admitting fault and do not make incriminating statements to the police who attend the scene of the accident.
Document Evidence on the Scene
Cases that rely upon a person’s word for evidence are less likely to prove successful. It’s crucial that you take evidence when you’re at the scene of the accident. Videos, images, and audio recordings can all prove useful later down the line. In fact, they can win the case for you. You should try to video or audio record the other driver, in case they admit fault. It’s always good to have a person’s admission of guilt recorded in case they change their story later down the line.
You should also take photographs of the other drivers’ insurance paperwork and driver’s license. Take photographs of your injuries and the damage to your car. You should also try to video witness statements when possible.
It’s very important that you seek out a written statement from a doctor to verify your injuries. A written medical statement can be very useful in court and for insurance purposes. It’s always recommended that you get two or three lots of medical evidence, all from different doctors.
You will be asked to supply medical evidence as part of your claim. It’s always best to acquire written medical evidence shortly after you have sustained your injuries. This adds weight to your medical report.
Review the Police Crash Report
After you’ve been involved in an accident, you should request a police report. This can be used as evidence in court or with your insurance company. Police reports tend to be straight to the point and will show that you were not at fault (assuming you weren’t). You should always review the police report just to ensure that no mistakes have been made.
Always Turn Down the First Offer
If you want to maximize your compensation, then you should always refuse your insurance company’s first offer. It will usually be a lowball.
Out-of-court insurance settlements protect insurance companies from lawsuits, which makes them eager to settle. This gives you power over them. You can turn down the first offer and push for more. If the amount offered won’t suffice for your damages, then ask for more.
Always Be Respectful
When you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s important to be respectful. If you behave immaturely or irresponsibly, it can be used against you. The same goes for the other person involved in the accident. Try to contain yourself if you are angry.
Protecting your rights after a car accident is very important. Follow this guide to the letter if you want any chance of receiving compensation. Drive as safely as you can so that you can avoid accidents and the stress that comes with them.