Being involved in a car accident can be traumatic and horrifying, to say the least. This can make it hard to assess the aftermath, but you need to be aware of the legal actions you have to take. In these situations, it is better to be safe than sorry and take all the precautions necessary to avoid any unfairness towards you. Whether the accident is your fault or not, there are some important steps to follow to avoid any issues and to preserve as many of your legal rights as possible.
1. Make a Small Talk But Never Admit To Being at Fault
Believe it or not, saying that you are sorry can be taken against you in court and can cost you a lot. Even if you or the other driver believe that you are at fault, you should never admit to it at the scene of the accident. Admissions can result in the other party taking extensive legal action and may result in you having to pay a large sum of money, even if your car is the one most damaged. Just state whatever you believed happened and let the decision of who is at fault be decided by the authorities who will use the evidence present to give a fair observation.
2. Record What the Other Driver is Saying
Take note of what the other driver is saying. They might admit that they are the ones at fault and therefore you can negate any future legal action they may take against you by using such a record. Sometimes, after taking the time to think about it, the other drives may change their mind about being the ones who were wrong and will decide to try getting as much money from you as possible. You can then give the record to your lawyer who will be able to use it as they see fit.
3. Exchange Information with Drivers Involved
Whenever there is an accident, even a minor one, you need to exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident. This information includes at least one way of contact, as well as their insurance information so that you can contact their insurance company for money to fix your car. This information can also be helpful if you decide to pursue further legal action later.
4. Take Stock of Important Details
Other details you can document just by using your phone, whether by taking pictures, or if possible, a video, is the environment surrounding the accident as well as the traffic situation, any weather conditions that may have caused the accident and pictures of the cars and the damage each car sustained. This can help you with your insurance claim and even give your lawyer evidence to use in case the other party decides to take the case to court.
5. Contact a Lawyer
All the previous steps lead up to this one. Contacting a lawyer is the most important thing you need to do, as it is the best way to ensure that your rights are not taken from you and that you get the settlement you deserve, especially if you sustained an injury during the accident. Having legal counsel around will allow you to focus on healing from the injuries you got from the accident. If you want to find an accident lawyer, it is best to look for ones near you. For example, if you reside in Atlanta, then you can look for an accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA and find different recommendations online for the best one for your case. A good lawyer can also help you decide on the best course of action to take.
6. Seek Medical Attention
Even if it seems like you were not injured during the accident, do not hesitate to seek medical attention. Whiplash from your seatbelt can form internal injuries or even injuries that you do not notice except later. Don’t hesitate to get medical attention even if an injury seems minor because it can develop into something worse. Ignoring this step can be used against you if you decide to ask for compensation in the future
7. Keep Track of Treatment and Expenses
If you decide to get medical treatment, then you need to keep track of every injury and how it is being treated. You also need to keep a detailed record of any medical expenses, including any money spent on medicine. This will help you get compensation for your injury and your inconvenience.
These seven legal steps are indispensable in the case of an accident. Always keep these steps in mind so that if you are ever in a car accident, you can act accordingly in a way that gets you your rights and the least amount of cost both to your car and your health. Not everyone knows these steps and therefore many people do not get a fair settlement or compensation due to negligence of following these steps, but now you do.