Chances are that if you drive long enough, then you will eventually be involved in an automobile accident. Hopefully, it will be a minor fender bender with no emergency rooms or lawyers involved. However, if you ever find yourself in a more serious car accident, then following these tips just after the accident is vital to protect your rights should you need to file a lawsuit at a future date:
Tip: Never Admit You are at Fault for the Accident
The most important thing you can do immediately following a car accident is to never admit having caused it. Even if you rear-ended someone while illegally texting and are clearly 100% at fault for the accident, you should never apologize or admit fault while at the accident scene.
This is very important because if you tell the other drivers or law enforcement officers you caused the accident, then this information will be included in all of their official reports. If you need to file a lawsuit to settle with your insurance company or the other driver, then this information will be used against you.
Tip: Gather Everyone's Contact Information—Including Witnesses
If you are able to do so, you should walk around the accident scene and collect the name, address, and phone number of each person involved in the accident or who witnessed it.
If you can communicate with the other drivers involved in the accident, you should also find out what auto insurance company they use.
This information can be invaluable if you need to file a lawsuit. You may very well have contact information for witnesses who did not give previous statements to law enforcement who can help your case or insight on which insurance company your attorney should subpoena.
Tip: Document Everything You Remember About the Accident ASAP
As soon as you get home after the accident, sit down and write out every single thing you remember about the event. Write down the day, time, weather conditions, and everything you remember both pre- and post-accident. Write down even the smallest and seemingly inconsequential memories because you will forget them over time and these notes may become vital in settling your case.
Tip: Hire an Auto Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Finally, if you were at fault for the accident or fear future legal problems stemming from it, then you should protect yourself by contacting a local auto accident attorney. Many attorneys offer free or low-cost consultation appointments and at this type of appointment will educate you about your rights and how to best proceed.