If you’re hurt in an auto accident, one of the biggest decisions you’ll eventually need to make is whether to hire an auto injury attorney to help you receive the money you need to cover your medical expenses. But regardless of whether this is necessary — which will depend largely on the complexity of the situation and how cooperative the relevant insurance company is — it never hurts to get a little advice. Here are five tips auto injury attorneys wish everyone involved in car accidents would follow:
- Don’t Admit Fault
When you’re on the scene of an accident, and especially if someone has been hurt, it’s easy to see an apology as the polite course of action. You should resist the urge, however, as even a simple “I’m sorry” can be construed as an admission of fault that could be used against you.
- Don’t Make Accusations
On the flipside of controlling your emotions at the scene is not accusing the other driver or making threats of a lawsuit. If you do end up filing a lawsuit, that should be a carefully thought-out decision backed up by the experience of accident injury attorneys, not a knee-jerk reaction or empty threat.
- Call the Police
If you even suspect that anyone has been hurt in the accident (in your car or the other car), call the police so they’ll come assess the accident and file a report. This document, which will include the officer’s opinion of which driver was at fault, will be an important part of an auto accident injury claim or lawsuit, regardless of whether you’re the one filing or the one defending yourself.
- Document Everything
Even though the police will document the scene, it’s a good idea to take photos and notes yourself, too. You should keep this mindset up as you interact with insurance companies, doctors or any other relevant parties. Keep copies of correspondence, bills and anything else. These may be important pieces of evidence should a lawsuit become necessary.
- Try a Claim First
An auto injury attorney with your best interests at heart won’t encourage you to jump into a lawsuit right away. It’s best for all parties involved to have your lawyer attempt to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company first (normally through a third-party claim), and only go to court as a last resort.
What other tips should drivers keep in mind in case they’re injured in a car accident? Discuss in the comments section below.