What should I do if I have been in a car accident?
Once you are in a car accident please consider hiring an attorney to represent you as soon as possible to advise you of your rights and the steps you should take. The period of time immediately following a car accident can be confusing, frustrating and scary. It is during this time that many car accident victims make the most mistakes when dealing with their own insurance company and the insurance company for the negligent driver. Here are some dos and don’ts for the period of time between the car accident and when you meet with an attorney to learn about your legal rights:
- Don’t give a recorded statement to your insurance company before speaking to an attorney.
- Don’t give a statement, recorded or unrecorded, to the negligent driver’s insurance company.
- Do not sign a release or accept any money from the negligent party’s insurance company before you have had your claim evaluated by an attorney. The negligent party’s insurance company may try to convince you to sign a release in exchange for a small amount of money that will be only a fraction of the value of your damages. If you release the insurance company and the negligent party, you will not be able to get any additional money should you have additional bills or need more money in the future, and the release may also affect your right to health insurance and other future benefits.
- Don’t rely upon your insurance company to take photographs of your damaged car. Most of the time your insurance company will not share those photographs with you or your lawyer. So, you should take your own photographs of your car and if possible, the negligent driver’s car.
I wish you all safe travels!