Protecting Your Rights Following an Accident
There are more than 40,000 fatalities every year from car accidents in the US. It’s not enough to just be a careful driver, you need to take steps to protect your rights before anything happens. If you were to get hit you would want to be able to recover your losses and pay any bills that came from it.
At-fault or No-fault policy.
The laws regarding who is at fault differs from state to state. Most states follow an at-fault or a no-fault policy.
If you’re not familiar with the terms, at-fault means that the person responsible for causing the accident assumes responsibility for all the damages, including property damage and personal injury. Most often the party’s insurance covers most of it, leaving the insured person to cover the remaining amount out-of-pocket.
In no-fault states, insurance pays for medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses regardless of who caused the accident. This system was intended to reduce the number of small claims going through the state courts. However, there are very few states that have a no-fault policy.
What to do If You Have an Accident
It’s a good idea for every motorist to know the proper steps to take after an accident to ensure they protect their rights and increase their chances of recovering maximum compensation.
Take the following steps in the event you are involved in a car accident:
First, check to see if anyone is injured and call for emergency services. Call 911 and wait for help to arrive.
Make a full report to the police. You need to document everything having to do with the accident. This will also help verify your claims when it comes to reporting the accident to your insurance company.
If it is a small collision and no one is injured, exchange information with the driver. Make sure to write down all information to be used for your insurance claim. Do not admit fault (even if it was) to the other driver or divulge any information other than your driver’s license number and your insurance information. They may try to take you to court and will use anything you say to them as evidence.
Document the scene of the accident with photos. Pull out your phone and snap a few pictures for proof of where you were and what happened.
Call and report the accident to your insurance company. You should do this as soon as possible to avoid delays.
Contact an Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident, personal injury attorneys are here to help. They can help you recover your damages and medical bills.
Even if it isn’t evident anyone was injured in the accident, contact an attorney right away. How things look today, with the vehicles and the parties involved, things may change down the road. It is better to have an attorney involved/aware of the accident before an issue could arise in the future.