Sometimes it is just as important to know what not to do in a situation as it is to know what you should do. This is definitely true when you are involved in a collision.
Auto collisions always take you by surprise. It is easy to operate in reaction mode without really thinking about the consequences of your actions. If you have thought about what you should and should not do, before the situation occurs, you are more likely to act wisely and not make mistakes that you will regret. Follow this list of Don’ts.
1. Leave the collision site.
No matter what urgent matter is being missed, do not leave the scene of the accident, especially if there has been an injury. You could be charged with a crime. The current situation needs to take priority over everything else. Call 911 and wait for the authorities to arrive.
2. Leave without documenting details.
A police report is the best way of documenting the details of any collision. Don’t let the other driver tell you the police aren’t necessary. A police report can be critical in documenting the positions of the vehicles and perspectives of those involved, as well as any witnesses. At the same time, don’t hesitate to do some of your own documenting, details are easily overlooked or forgotten. If you have the opportunity to take photos of the vehicles and the scene, they can be important for your case.
3. Admit the accident was your fault.
You would be surprised at the number of accidents where a driver thought they were at fault when they actually were not. Be careful about taking responsibility in the emotion of the moment or even at a later point. Be honest about what you know happened, but be careful not to express a judgment on who was at fault.
4. Answer questions from the other party’s insurance company.
If you are contacted by a representative from the other party’s insurance company, you have the right, and should refuse, to answer their questions without the advice of your own lawyer. This is one of the important roles a lawyer can serve. A lawyer can handle all communication with the other parties and ensure that your rights are protected.
5. Accept a settlement offer without legal consultation.
Experienced lawyers, like those at Matthew Lopez Law, have a wealth of experience in auto collision settlements. They know what details are often overlooked in a settlement and what an appropriate financial settlement should include. Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position where you might lose out on important compensation and medical coverage. Consult with an experienced lawyer before accepting any settlement offers.
At Matthew Lopez Law, we have had the unfortunate experience of meeting with accident victims who did not follow these five points of advice. As a result, they limited their ability to receive a fair and full settlement through the courts. Don’t make that mistake. Read through this list again and keep it in mind if you are ever in a collision. Should that unfortunate event happen, give us a call. We’re here to help.