Accidents are sometimes bound to happen no matter how careful you are whilst out on the road. Even when you buckle up for safety before starting your journey, it is best to be prepared for when accident hits you and your family. Read on for some practical tips you can practice to prepare for such adverse circumstances.
Although television commercials distinctly imply otherwise, the auto insurance company is not “on your side” in the wake of a car accident. When money is at stake, the car insurance company, like almost all other businesses, cares only about its bottom line.
That’s the reason personalized legal representation is so important in these situations. An attorney is definitely on your side, because legal fees are based solely on the amount of money you recover. Furthermore, an attorney is an experienced legal advocate who equalizes the fight against the big insurance companies, helping to ensure fair compensation in vehicle collision cases.
Most people will have at least two or three crashes during their driving careers, and it’s important to be ready for the inevitable. Many times, the first few minutes after the accident are critical. What should you do?
Call a Lawyer First
Many of us are conditioned to call the insurance company right after a crash. But that could be a very bad idea, because the employees who answer these calls are usually trained to subtly extract damaging information from the callers. So, by taking such an action, you may be compromising your claim for damages and not even be aware of it until it is too late.
In contrast, good things usually happen when you call an attorney first:
- Lawyers who at least live in the same community are usually more compassionate than out-of-state telephone operators.
- A lawyer can start gathering critical evidence straightaway and give you instructions on how you can assist in this process.
- One fundamental rule of litigation is that the more time the plaintiff has to prepare, the stronger the plaintiff’s court case will eventually be.
Give your attorney’s phone number to a trusted friend or relative who can make this call in your place if you are too injured to do it yourself.
Don’t Say “I’m Sorry”
In most cases, apologizing is one way to express empathy. That’s why we often say, “I’m sorry” when a friend has a bad experience or a loved one has a long day at work.
But we must be careful what we say in car crash situations. An apology can be construed as an admission of liability, or at least an admission of fault for the accident. Even though such statements are made out of court, they are usually admissible at trial, because of the statement against interests rule.
Instead of “I’m sorry,” say something like “I’m sorry this happened to you” or “How can I help?” These statements express empathy without implying responsibility.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
When emergency responders arrive, they make accident reports. Although these reports are not dispositive, they do affect the course of your damage claim.
Be sure the report’s author hears your side of the story. If you feel like a passenger in your car would do a better job of detailing what happened, have that person speak to the officer. If you are extremely upset or otherwise unable to talk to the officer, make sure there is a relevant note in the report.
For more preparedness tips, speak to a car accident lawyer today.