As a lawyer, I often get asked the question of what would someone do if they are at fault in a car accident?
A few responses are outlined, and my hope is that you are not involved in any accidents, but in the essence of preparation, it is recommended that this article be shared with your friends and families, to allow them to prepare to provide the most suitable responses, if ever they are involved or at fault in an auto accident.
Do Not Admit That You Are at Fault
Accidents can be traumatic and often accompanied by a lot of simultaneous activity which can be difficult to follow or recall.
Your responsibility is to first ensure the safety of all involved, and that may also include the occupants of other vehicles. If anyone is disabled and or injured please dial 911 first!
You may first need to process all of the facts and consider all variables before any statement is made, even if you believe that you may be at fault. There may be undisclosed factors or variables that contributed to the cause of the accident.
When the gravity of the situation has been processed, you must be calm maintain a neutral stance, and avoid all and any arguments. Discussion of any details or how the accident occurred are better avoided, as well as accusations to other parties involved. Do not admit guilt of any incident, and such as what you did or did not see.
Calling the Police First
There is no need to fear the police and its better to create a report. In some jurisdictions, it is a legal requirement to call the police in the event of injury or property damage sustained during an accident. The police can be helpful in mediating any situations when necessary and they will file a report.
Be clear on details and offer only factual and concise statements without editorials. Be sure to obtain the name, badge number and agency of the responding officer, so that you can obtain copies of the written accident report. The reports are usually available at a minimal charge, and can be very valuable during the claims process.
Take as Many Pictures as Possible
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and phones with cameras are everywhere. If you don’t have access to a phone, borrow one and have the pictures sent to you.
Take photographs of damages sustained on all vehicles. Take photos of injuries sustained by all involved. Take photos of traffic signs, skid marks on the road, debris, the weather conditions and if possible a panoramic view of the scene.
Shoot the scene from as many angles as possible, as it may be impossible to recall all the relevant information, and at this point you may not know what is relevant.
Record names and contact information of all involved
The information should include a photo as well as drivers’ license or other identification. The number and details of the insurance policy. Record all information of any eyewitnesses.
Consult your Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer will help to avoid pitfalls and issues associated with navigation of the legal system. Even if you are at fault, there may be some entitlement to which you may not be aware. So, always call an attorney first. At Drake Law Firm we are able to obtain police reports, help with rental or car replacement. In most instances, we can also file a claim with your insurance company.
Call your insurance company?
Before calling your insurance company and making any statements which are recorded in most instances – please call for a free consultation with your lawyer 844 51-DRAKE-5721