Do your legal rights matter when it comes to a car accident? The simple, short, and sweet answer is yes.
Car accidents are to blame for at least 1.3 million fatalities every single year. This is according to research carried out by WHO.
Injuries arising from road traffic injuries are the number one reason for death amongst the 5 to 29-year demographic. Vulnerable road users take up half of the fatalities in road deaths. This group refers to cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.
Now, what happens if you find yourself in a road accident with regard to the law? This article will introduce you to attorneys for personal injury and accident lawyers. It can prove to be a lifesaver in the future. After all, the one constant is the unpredictable nature of accidents. You may find yourself in a tough spot, and remember the critical legal facts below.
You Have a Right to Representation from Injury Law Firms
You get involved in a car accident. It is quite clear that recklessness on the part of the other driver is to blame. Other than horrible car damages, you have suffered severe injuries. Now, several things will run through your head.
- The first is the inconvenience and pain you will have to endure as you recover.
- You will not be able to go to work to earn a living for some time. The problem is that your employer pays you based on the number of hours you work. That means a loss of income within this period.
- During this time, you can be sure of significant medical bills.
The first thing you need to do is consult car accident lawyers or personal injury attorneys in Houston. The latter specializes in personal injury cases. With them on your team, you will not have to deal with insurance companies or even the police.
Injury attorneys have extensive knowledge about applicable laws. Please note this may differ from state to state. That is why it is crucial to find out as much as possible about the attorney before hiring one.
You Have a Legal Right to Gather Evidence at the Car Accident Scene
When you are involved in a car accident, you must do some things. The most critical first step is to determine that there are no injuries. If there are, call 911 immediately for ambulance service.
Don’t try to move the injured, because, more often than not, it can cause extra injuries or worsen the situation. You could also find yourself facing lawsuits for trying to be a Good Samaritan. All the person needs to do is prove that your act of moving them made their injuries worse. However, go ahead and perform CPR in life-threatening situations if you know how to.
In the best-case scenario, you should leave the vehicles as they are. But, if on a busy highway, move the cars to the side to avoid a further pile-up. Please do not leave the accident scene unless you are going to the hospital.
You have the right to collect whatever evidence you can. We are not saying you become a CSI investigator. But, with your smartphone, you can take videos or photos. Also, collect witness contacts. Such will be useful to the personal injury lawyers investigating team.
You Have a Right to Avoid Self-Incrimination
Any lawyer you will deal with will tell you never to incriminate yourself in any scenario. That is why it is always a good idea to have legal representation from your car accident or personal injury attorney.
At the scene of the accident will be the police and insurance company representative. Each party has an interest in the quick resolution of the issue. The underwriters will look for any way to get out of settling huge claims.
Are we saying you should not talk to the cops? By all means, go ahead but stick to facts and keep it brief. If you are not comfortable answering the question, you can decline to do so.
The at-fault driver may also try to convince you to settle things before the police arrive. It may sound pretty tempting, especially if they give you a cash offer. But, you can’t determine how much you will spend on medical bills at the accident scene. Neither do you know how long you will be out of work. Your answer to such offers should be an emphatic NO!
Please, no matter how empathetic or sympathetic you are, don’t make the mistake of apologizing. The parties involved could take this as an admission of guilt.
It is also your right not to record a statement with the other driver’s underwriting company. Remember, what matters to them is their interests. If they can find a way to wiggle out of paying the claims, you best believe they will use it.
Also, immediately after the accident, you’re not of sound mind. You could be open to suggestion, which could land you in trouble.
Finally, do not sign any documents from the at fault driver’s insurance company. Only do so if your car accident lawyer gives you the go-ahead.
You Have a Legal Right to Refuse Insurance Settlement
The negligent driver’s insurance company can offer you a settlement. Don’t feel under any pressure to accept. What they could be offering may be very low. Let your lawyer handle any offers on your behalf.
Reputable personal injury lawyers don’t always want to rush to court. Many would rather settle outside of it.
Such cases can take a long time before resolution. The financial and emotional stress will also take a toll on you as the plaintiff.
Yet, the same lawyers would also not advise you to take everything or anything that comes your way.
The injury attorney would prefer to take the out-of-court settlement route first. If the negotiations are unsuccessful, they may decide to take the case to court.
We reiterate our earlier point. Take time to find the right injury attorney. You want someone who has experience in mediation. They should also have litigation experience. Not every practicing lawyer has the expertise. Indeed, some have never even argued a case before a judge.
As we have shared, you have legal rights at the scene of a car accident. One of the most important things to do is hire the right car accident or a personal injury lawyer. They will take care of your interests and handle any litigation if the case makes it to court.