A brief moment of inattentiveness or a minor distraction is all that's needed to create a serious auto accident. It's possible to find yourself at fault for an accident, especially if there was a way you could have prevented it from happening in the first place.
It's important to know how to handle yourself in the aftermath of an at-fault accident. The following offers some helpful information on what you should and shouldn't do at the accident scene.
Never Admit Fault
Although it's natural to apologize for causing a fender-bender, doing so could open you up to more liability than you bargained for. Admitting fault at the scene of the accident not only makes a slam-dunk case in favor of the injured party, but said party now has a strong case for initiating a lawsuit to recover additional damages later on. You should let the insurance company and the courts decide who's really at fault instead of admitting fault at the scene.
Only Discuss the Accident with Law Enforcement
Another common mistake many drivers make is discussing details about the accident with the other driver. After the accident, the only people you should be talking to are the sworn police officers who responded to the scene and/or are in charge of handling the police report.
Always Collect Contact Information
Although you shouldn't talk to others about the particulars of the accident, you should collect contact information from potential witnesses to the accident. Jot down names and addresses, as well as e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and other contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident unfold.
File a Claim with Your Insurer
Even if you're at fault for the accident, you should still file a claim with your insurance company. This way, your insurer will be legally obligated to defend you in the event the other party decides to file a lawsuit against you. To shield yourself from heavy medical costs, you should always file a claim if there's a serious injury involved.
Get in Contact with Your Attorney
Last but not least, you should always seek the advice of your attorney shortly after getting into an at-fault accident. You'll definitely need one by your side if the other party decides to sue you in court for medical costs and other potential damages.
These helpful tips will help you get through an at-fault accident without placing yourself in legal jeopardy.
For a car accident lawyer, contact a law firm such as Master Weinstein Shatz Moyer, P.C.