Every person has equal rights after a car accident, regardless if you’ve been at fault or not. While not really a “crime scene” but various factors play a huge role in determining the perpetrator.
There are also dozens of factors that can also threaten your legal rights after a car accident. We’re here to explain to you how important it is to protect your rights by giving you the appropriate steps to take.
With all that said, if you’ve recently been in a car accident, here are the main things to do so you can protect your rights after a car accident.
Documentation of the “Crime Scene”
Let’s say you and another vehicle have bumped into each other while driving around town. The first thing you do you turn off your engine and get out of the vehicle.
If the collision isn’t serious, then there won’t be any injuries to all parties involved. But if the collision is more serious, then the first thing you do is check if you’re injured or anyone else needs medical attention.
If so, then immediately dial 911 and get the dispatcher to send an ambulance.
If no one is seriously injured because of the collision, then you need to do some documentation of the crime scene.
It is heavily advised that you don’t touch anything nor try to modify things to look into your favor. Instead, call the police and report that there’s been an accident on the road.
As soon as the police arrive, they will begin the investigation. This is very important as this is your first line of defense in the case of any future legal dealings involving this case.
The police will gather evidence and create the accident report detailing what has actually happened.
Another thing you’d want to do is grab your smartphone and take pictures of the scene; a lot of them. By taking pictures you’re making sure that the other driver doesn’t have any room to modify the scene to look in their favor.
When taking pictures, these are the stuff you need to document:
- The accident scene; the location, the collision, both vehicles. Make sure to take detailed pictures.
- Take a picture of any potential injuries, regardless of the person is from the other driver’s vehicle.
- Take detailed pictures of damages done to both vehicles.
These are some of the most important steps to take that can protect your rights after a car accident, but these aren’t the only ones.
The last we’ll mention is a pretty straightforward one, and that is talking to any witnesses. Unless you happened to be living in a ghost town or driving late in the night, there will be eyewitnesses regardless of where the accident has taken place.
If there happened to be any witnesses, then go over and talk to them and get their contact information. A witness by definition is a person that has witnesses a “crime”. And while this doesn’t really categorize under “crime”, witnesses can still help your claim. The more witnesses the stronger your claim will be and easier to protect your legal rights.
Talk To A Car Accident Lawyer
Even if you have tons of witnesses and evidence going in your way, the other driver can still sue for damages.
According to Wagner & Wagner, regardless if this is the case, a car accident lawyer should be the first person you call after the police. If you want your rights protected, then a lawyer will fight for those rights.
Take advantage of the fact that there are specific car lawyers that specialize in car accidents.
Take Notes of the Accident
After you’ve talked with the lawyer, it’s now time to take some notes.
Keeping a notebook in your car or using a smartphone app where you can write things down is advised in these situations. After an accident, make sure to take note of the following:
- If you or anyone else has sustained an injury, then take note of the severity of the injury and how that person feels. Take note if the pain is gradually increasing or decreasing as time passes.
- Take note of any conversations between yourself and the other driver. These might be key especially if the other driver threatens you or insults you.
- Take note of the specific time when the accident happened, date, and place.
- Take the names of the driver involved, as well as, any other person you’ve spoken to including witnesses.
- Take note of anything else that might be important that’d also go along nicely in protecting your rights after an accident. You can get back in touch with your lawyer for potential tips.
Documentation of the Damages
Documentation of the scene and documentation of the damages are two separate things that can both help protect your rights after a car accident.
Inspecting damages done to your vehicle and documenting them will help your lawyer a lot when needing to settle insurance claims. When documenting the damages, these are the things you need to pay attention to the most:
- Contact information where the insurance company or any other party can contact you regarding this issue
- Your claim number and the name of the insurance adjuster of your claim
- Any potential medical bills as an effect of the accident
- And potential vehicle repair receipts and even car rental receipts.
Keeping all these in a digital folder on your computer as well as having them in copy form around your home is advised.
While there are other things you can do to further protect your rights, these are some of the most important ones that everyone should know.
In most cases, these are more than enough to help you with the law and with your insurance company. But to have the most effect, a car lawyer is a must!