Seeking Compensation: What Are Your Rights After a Car Accident?
With millions of cars present on the roads today, the chances you’ll find yourself in an accident situation at last once in your life is highly likely. Even if you know yourself to be a decent or above average driver, you never know who else is going to be on the road, or what event might happen while you’re out and about.
However, when you do find yourself in an accident situation, what happens when you’re confronted with the other party? These times can be stressful, making it far easier for you to make poor decisions due to shock or an intimidating second party.
What are your rights in this situation, especially when it comes to seeking compensation? To help you make the right decisions, here’s everything you need to know.
Contacting the Police
In an accident situation, you are always within your rights to call the police. Even if the other party is requesting you handle it between you both, you have every right to refuse this offer and can make the call. This is highly recommended since the official police report is one of the most important pieces of evidence if you go to court.
When it comes to compensation, you are well within your rights to claim for personal injuries that you have sustained from the accident. This is a legal claim you can make through your insurance company or a dedicated legal specialist, such as Blaine J. Barrilleaux.
If your property has sustained damage from the accident, which includes the vehicle you were traveling in, and any property you had inside, you can claim property damages in the same ways you apply for personal injury claims, helping you to cover the costs of your losses.
Recording the Moment
While you’re at the scene, it’s highly recommended that you take pictures or videos of the event. This includes the location of the vehicles (making sure they don’t move from their crash positions), the condition of all vehicles involved, and any damage the vehicles have. Photos are solid pieces of evidence you can use in a legal situation.
Another way to help you record evidence for your case when claiming for compensation is by taking accounts from witnesses of the event. If you have called the police, you may ask witnesses to stay to give their statements.
On the other hand, you can take phone numbers of witnesses, or ask them to write down their account (with their contact details), or video them for proof of what happened.
While this right is usually exercised for people who have committed a crime, if, for whatever reason, you wish to remain silent, you may do so. You can stay silent when it comes to talking to the other party, their investigator, or an insurance investigator. You will need to talk to the police in this case and your own insurance company.
However, staying silent does not mean leaving the scene of the accident. This will, in most cases, put you to blame for the incident, ultimately rendering your claim obsolete.
Finding yourself in a car accident can be a shocking and stressful time, but this needn’t be the case. Remember to stay calm and collected and remember your rights to ensure you make the best decisions.