Legal Do’s And Don’ts After A Car Accident
We all hope that we’ll never end up in a car accident, but the sad fact is that there are approximately six million car accidents in the US each year. So, there’s always a probability of you or someone you know being involved.
Careful driving can massively reduce the risk of ending up in an accident, but expecting the worst and preparing for every eventuality can also be a wise move.
Depending on the situation, you might have to seek out the services of a car accident lawyer, and the moves you make right after the accident could have a massive influence on how your case pans out.
Naturally, when you find yourself in an accident, you tend to panic, and it can be hard to keep your head and think clearly, especially if you or someone you know has suffered an injury. Still, to give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome, be sure to follow these simple Dos and Don’ts.
Do: Seek Medical Attention Immediately
When the accident occurs, any injuries should be treated as quickly as possible, and this is both for your own physical benefit, as well as to help support any potential legal cases that might arise if you contact a lawyer later on.
You can develop a wide range of injuries in the wake of an accident, ranging in seriousness and risk. Recovering from a neck injury could take years for example, while other issues might not be quite as serious but still demand prompt treatment.
If you plan to use a lawyer for a claim, medical reports and records will be vital in the case, so this really is essential. It’s also wise to photograph injuries and document exactly what happened too.
Don’t: Ignore Medical Advice
After seeking medical help for any injuries sustained during an accident, you might find that your doctor recommends strict bed rest or instructs you to follow certain safety protocols to minimize the risk of any further issues or injury.
Even if you feel these instructions are exaggerated or feel like your injury isn’t as bad as it seems, it’s vital to follow this advice.
If you try to make an insurance claim later on and evidence arises to show that you were still going out, attending sporting events, playing with your kids and taking on other risks against medical instructions, your chances of success could take a big hit.
Do: Seek Legal Aid Promptly
As well as looking for medical care in a timely fashion, it’s also wise to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible too. A lot of people take too long to contact a car accident lawyer. They might, instead, spend time contacting their insurance company first or posting details about the accident online with their friends and families.
All of these actions could harm your case in the long run, as any statements you provide might be used against you, and you could accidentally or inadvertently say things that will reduce your chances of a positive settlement with your insurance company.
Before you say anything or speak with any insurance agents, get in touch with a lawyer. They’ll be able to advise you through the whole process, providing some much-needed peace of mind and helping you negotiate towards a positive outcome.
Don’t: Hide Past Injuries Or Accidents
If you’ve had any past accidents or injuries, you need to let the lawyer know about them. Opposition lawyers and insurance agents could use these accidents against you, suggesting that your current injury is simply due to a prior accident, thus negating your claim.
They might even be able to view your entire medical history upon demand in order to build a case against you, so it’s important that you let your lawyer know all they need to know in order to build a solid case, without any holes that might be exploited.
A lot of people might feel that they need to hide this kind of information, and some may try to exaggerate their injuries or lie about what they can or cannot do in order to try and strengthen their case. In reality, lying will only weaken your chances of success.
Car accidents are always scary situations, and it’s normal to panic at first, but if you take your time, think clearly, and try to make rational, responsible decisions, you’ll have a much stronger chance of getting a settlement from your insurance company, rather than having to deal with more stress and problems.