WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RIGHTS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?Last updated on: October 21, 2022
A car accident can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. During such a hectic situation, you may feel confused as to what your legal rights are, who will be held responsible, and whether you should contact a car accident attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, a personal injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group can help you understand your legal rights. For a 100 percent free case evaluation contact the car accident attorneys from Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312.
WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RIGHTS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
In most cases, an insurance company is going to be paying for your injuries. However, it’s important to understand that while also deciding whether to cut a check or what amount to make it for, their interests are fundamentally at odds with your right to compensation. Accordingly, an insurance company can undermine the legal rights of an accident victim by abusing its authority.
Furthermore, it might not even be the insurance company that tries to prevent you from exercising your rights. For example, the at-fault party may try to discourage you from calling the police or filing an injury claim. Therefore, it’s important that you know your legal rights, which include:
- The right to compensation for personal injury and property damage
- The right to contact the police
- The right to talk to witnesses
- The right to take photos
- The right to receive medical attention
- The right to remain silent
SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION
In some cases, it’s very clear that immediate medical attention is necessary. There is little doubt that you will benefit from emergency care if, for instance, you have a bone fracture, signs of paralysis, excruciating pain or swelling, or mental confusion. Other indications that you should get treatment immediately include:
- Advice from an EMT or paramedic
- Extreme accident severity
- Feelings drowsiness or dizziness
- Open wounds
- Internal aching
Given that some injuries don’t initially manifest in clear symptoms, it’s crucial to be aware of these signs. Additionally, you could be experiencing shock or an adrenaline rush, which can make it difficult for you to feel pain.
DOCUMENT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Call the Police
It’s crucial to notify the police right away, even after a minor accident with no casualties. You should submit official police reports when filing an auto insurance claim, and you should bring the report to your first meeting with a car accident attorney. If you can stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive, that is generally a best practice.
Take Pictures and Videos of the Scene
The entire scene needs to be captured on camera. Make sure to take pictures of:
- All vehicles damaged
- All property damaged
- The people involved
- The other driver’s license plates
- Nearby road markers
When filing your insurance claim, this will help you recall the situation precisely. Additionally, the pictures will serve as evidence for proving your claim.
Exchange Information with witnesses
Even though you should try to talk with the other motorist, you should be careful to avoid blaming them, accusing them of something, or offering an apology. Simply expressing “I’m sorry,” could be seen in some places and circumstances as an admission of legal responsibility.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You should submit an auto insurance claim as soon as you can following a collision. Your claim will be processed quicker, and you’ll be better protected if the other motorist makes unsupported claims of injuries or damages. Most insurance companies allow for claims to be made over the phone.
KNOW THE CAR ACCIDENT LAWS OF YOUR STATE
What state will have jurisdiction over your claim is a primary concern after an automobile accident in another state. The term jurisdiction refers to a court having the authority to rule on a case. For example, if you’re in an automobile accident outside your state, you may eventually bring your claim to your home state because they have jurisdiction over accidents involving their citizens.
Filing an injury claim in another state can be inconvenient. However, the general rule is that you must abide by the laws of the state where the accident occurred. Importantly, you will be governed by local procedural regulations, such as the statute of limitations.
DON’T TRUST THE AT-FAULT DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY
You must file a claim with the other driver’s insurance carrier if you were hurt in an automobile accident that was their fault. When you file, an insurance adjuster who works for the firm will call you nearly immediately.
The adjuster will want to contact you to acquire more information about the collision, such as how it happened and the nature and severity of your injuries. Many victims believe that speaking with the insurance provider is legally necessary yet doing so can hurt your claim. When speaking to the opposing party’s insurance company, only convey information that is necessary and never embellish details about the accident.
HOW DO I RECOVER DAMAGES FROM AN ACCIDENT?
You may be entitled to financial compensation from those at fault if you were injured or experienced harm because of an accident. The type of losses you sustained because of the accident or injury, both during and after the incident, will determine what you are eligible to claim.
In some circumstances, your family members may also be eligible for compensation if their connection with you was harmed by your injuries. You and your loved ones may be entitled to compensation for:
- General Damages
- Lost Wages
- Medical Expenses
Keep in mind that a qualified attorney will walk you through your alternatives and fight to get you every dollar of compensation to which you are legally entitled in your state.
HAVE YOUR CAR DAMAGE EXAMINED
Obtaining a reliable inspection and quote for accident repair services can be just as crucial as the caliber of the repairs. It takes a lot of effort to obtain that estimate, from identifying damage to choosing between labor and part replacement. An expert assessor can produce a precise estimate that will cover most, if not all, of the damage and can do it in a way that pleases both you and the insurance provider.
A competent assessor must provide an estimate before an insurance company can approve a claim. State-specific licensing laws vary, but generally the assessor needs specialized education and certification, just like the mechanics who service cars. After the damage is assessed, the insurance company will inform you whether they will pay you for the accident and how much.
TAKE NOTES ABOUT THE ACCIDENT
The details you record following a car accident can greatly strengthen and increase the value of your insurance claim. Accordingly, it’s crucial to document every detail of the accident while it’s still fresh in your mind. Details from what you observed and heard just after the collision might indicate that the other driver was to blame.
Take notes as you recuperate and progress through your rehabilitation. Use your notes to depict your suffering in graphic detail, supporting your case for compensation. You or your personal injury lawyer must demonstrate to the insurance company that you were hurt and that their insured was at fault.
In your notes, you should write about:
- What you noticed at the scene of the accident.
- What you heard after the accident.
- How you felt both before and after the incident, as well as during treatment and rehabilitation.
Write down your notes as quickly as you can, and to ensure you don’t forget anything, use this checklist for accident notes. Do not stress over attempting to determine what may be essential. It’s crucial to consider every aspect of the accident and how it affected your life. Don’t forget anything.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
After a car accident, the injured party in a crash may seek damages for their losses. Knowing that you have this right, the other party will try to diminish their responsibility for the accident. If the party who caused the accident tries to elicit statements out of you to eliminate their responsibility, remember that you have other rights to exercise.
The right to remain silent is valuable in situations involving civil matters. Normally the right to remain silent is associated with criminal matters, and it may be forgotten about. Some of these rights might seem useless after a car accident, such as the right to remain silent.
Ordinarily, this right is linked to criminal cases, but be aware that the defendant will try to refute your injury claim with statements that you make about the accident. Be mindful of the information that you give out and remember that the right to remain silent is often fundamental to preserving claims.
NEED HELP? CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
Hiring a personal injury lawyer to defend you is one of the best methods to make sure you don’t miss any crucial deadlines, that your rights are upheld, and that the insurance company isn’t taking advantage of you. It has been shown that people who hire a lawyer to manage their claim typically obtain more compensation than those who don’t. Talk to a car accident attorney for free at (800) 863-5312.
It can be in your best interests to call an attorney and find out your legal options. At Zinda Law Group, we offer 100 percent free consultations and a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Guarantee, which means that you won’t pay anything unless we get a favorable outcome for your case.