After being involved in a car accident, you are probably traumatized, and for some people, they don’t know their legal rights. Well, it’s unfortunate that you were involved in the accident. Still, in case it was caused by a third party, you should know that you have certain rights and that no one should extort you or take advantage of your vulnerability during this trying period. Here are some non-negotiable rights that you have upon suffering from a car accident.
1. Right to Compensation
You are legally obligated to seek compensation for property damage and personal injury after the accident. You might have suffered some injuries that were a result of a different party, and you should know that it’s your right to file a claim against the parties involved. Filing a claim might be hectic around the accident time, considering that you have to seek medical care around this moment. It’s always advisable to contact experienced lawyers immediately if you are involved in an accident, and these lawyers who specialize in car accidents can help you navigate the hustle of having to deal with insurance companies. Layers can negotiate the case on your behalf, as well. You have the right to find a lawyer who has experience dealing with insurance companies who will negotiate for fair compensation for your medical, repair charges, pain, and suffering as well as future expenses that you might incur.
2. Calling the Police
It’s your right to call the police once you are involved in an accident. In some cases, the other party involved in the accident might try and negotiate a deal before you contact the police. The other party might also coerce you not to contact the police. You should know that it’s your right to call any law enforcement agency which is required to file a report on the accident. The police report is a useful document that will be used as evidence when you file your claim.
3. Taking Photos
After the accident, you have a right to capture scenes of the accident using your camera. Take out your smartphone and capture all the details of the scene of the accident. Capture scenes such as the damage done to your car and pictures of the other vehicle. Besides, you should take photos of yourself to capture the injuries that you have suffered.
4. Speaking to Witnesses
You have the right to talk to all eyewitnesses who saw how the accident unraveled. Besides, you should get their contact information and their names since you might need them to testify during the claim process. You should also request the witnesses to narrate the story to police officers so that their narrative is included in the report.
5. Right to Remain Silent
Most often, this right applies to people who have been arrested for a crime. You should, however, know that you have the right to remain silent after an accident and that you should accept blame. Some people make the mistake of taking responsibility at the accident scene, not knowing that the other party is probably recording them. Such a recording might be used as evidence when filing a claim, and this reduces your bargaining power when you negotiate for the settlement claim. Bottom line, the law doesn’t compel you to negotiate with the other party or with the insurance guys. Remain silent during this time and only speak to your attorney.
6. Seeking Medical Attention
It is your human right to seek immediate medical attention in case you have suffered from any injury. Everyone has a right to treatment; therefore, no one should restrict you to the accident scene.
Things to Avoid After an Accident
As earlier stated, most people tend to make numerous mistakes after an accident considering that they are unaware of their legal rights. Here are some actions to avoid after the accident since it might compromise your claim;
1. Private Settlement
Do not agree to any settlement offered by the party that you feel is responsible for the accident. Most third parties tend to offer a quick payment to prevent you from filing a claim. You might be under-compensated when you accept such a deal.
2. Try not to leave the scene
Not unless you are injured, and you need medical attention, you should never leave the accident scene. Contact the police and your attorney, and once they have arrived, you might be at liberty to leave.
Accidents are never planned, and should it happen to you, then you should be aware of your rights. You might be traumatized during this period; therefore, to avoid making any mistakes, it’s always advisable first to contact your attorney since he has your best interest at heart.