In a criminal investigation, the first 48 hours is usually the critical time. In much the same way, the first 48 hours after a car crash have a significant bearing on the rest of your case.
Many victims unintentionally create problems for their Fort Worth personal injury attorneys immediately after a car crash. Knowing what to do, and what not to do, means that your lawyer will not be playing from behind early in the game.
Do Go to the Doctor
Many people do not “feel” injured after a car crash. Adrenaline from the accident masks much of the pain. Furthermore, some conditions, like head injuries, do not cause pain right away. But if not treated promptly, car crash injuries get much worse. Additionally, if you do not see a doctor straightaway, the insurance company may later claim that your injuries must not have been very serious.
Don’t Say “I’m Sorry”
Especially here in Texas, we routinely apologize for things that are not our fault. These apologies express sympathy. But in this context, an apology could also be an admission of liability. Furthermore, because of some legal loopholes, these out-of-court statements are almost always admissible in court. So, even if you feel like you were at fault, resist the temptation to say “I’m sorry.” Instead, say something like “How can I help you?” Or, better yet, don’t say anything.
Do Collect Evidence
Emergency responders collect the bare minimum amount of evidence they need to write their reports. They are not there to build a future negligence case for one of the drivers. That’s your job. Take lots of pictures of physical damage to yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle. Also, take pictures of the surroundings. Finally, speak to as many witnesses as possible and get their contact information.
Don’t Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Generally, you have no legal obligation to give a statement to the insurance company. Doing so is always a bad idea. Insurance company phone adjusters know how to extract damaging information from a victim. And, insurance company lawyers know how to use this information in court. These big companies do not need your help to defend these claims, so do not offer it.
Do See a Lawyer
If you do not remember anything else from this list, remember this point. A quick call to a lawyer takes care of everything. An attorney can connect you with a doctor, even if you have no insurance or money. Moreover, an attorney can talk to the other insurance company for you, both now and during settlement negotiations. Finally, an attorney will collect evidence for you, so you can put your best foot forward in court.
The right moves after an accident increase the chances for fair compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. You have a limited amount of time to act.