While no driver climbs in the driver seat of their vehicle planning on being involved in an auto accident, 2021 saw a twenty percent increase in car accidents during the first half of the year. When you are involved in a collision with a negligent driver, the anxiety and stress can make it difficult to decide how to respond to your situation. Although your priority in the aftermath of an auto accident should be seeking medical attention for any injuries, your actions can have a dramatic impact on your legal rights to financial compensation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and other tangible and intangible losses. In this blog, we provide a list of things to avoid when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Do not admit fault or say you are sorry to the other driver following an accident.
Although it is not unusual to feel bad or sympathetic toward another person involved in a collision, innocent statements or apologies might be construed as an admission of fault by the insurance company. While politeness is appropriate, avoid saying anything that could be construed as a concession that you were responsible for the accident.
Do not leave the scene without exchanging information with the other driver and contacting law enforcement.
Some state laws require that you remain at the scene of an accident if anyone is injured or dies as well as when any property damage exceeds $500 in value. Aside from exchanging contact, driver’s license, and insurance information, notify law enforcement to facilitate a law enforcement investigation and preparation of an accident report. Evidence also should be gathered, such as names and contact information of witnesses, as well as, photos of the accident scene, injuries, vehicle damage, and other relevant facts.
Do not discuss your accident claim with anyone besides your attorney.
Even if you discuss your case with a close family member or friend who you trust, the at-fault driver’s insurance company could subpoena this individual and compel disclosure of the information. While the information you share with your attorney generally can be protected from disclosure in a personal injury case, voluntary disclosure of such material to a third party can strip this material of its protected status. Similarly, other information otherwise protected by privilege or privacy rights might lose its protection from use in court, so you should discuss your case only with your attorney.
Do not post or discuss information about your accident or injuries on social media.
Insurance companies routinely mine the social media pages of injury victims for information that can be used to strengthen their cases. Pictures or posts that might not seem to be relevant to your claim could be exploited by a creative insurance defense attorney. Even if the information is in a private area, some judges are ordering plaintiffs in injury lawsuits to provide passwords so that even these private areas could be accessible by an insurance company in civil litigation.
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Did you or a loved one sustain injury due to an accident? Parker Waichman LLP helps those who have suffered accident injuries receive full monetary compensation. Trust your case with our accident injury lawsuit lawyers. For a free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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