When you are a victim in an auto accident you may be surprised to know that the settlement you receive may vary differently depending on unrelated things. Did you know that the results can be different if you are in a car, truck or motorcycle accident? Did you know that what you say to the police officer taking down the report can hold sway? As a victim, you need to be mindful of everything. Here are some things you should be aware of when you are in an auto accident.
Liability is a tricky thing because every accident scenario can vary, states Nolo experts. Typically the one “at fault” is the one who’s liable. But in certain circumstances you may not even be anywhere near the scene and still be liable. If your employee is driving the company car and they rearend someone while on the clock, you would be the one who’s liable. And if you’re on the other side of this type of scenario and you are struck by a company car don’t automatically assume that they will pay you out what’s owed. Always demand that there be a police officer there to take down a report and make sure you are clear about what’s happened.
Another area to be concerned about is your legal rights following a traffic accident. Turn the car off right after the accident has taken place. See how many witnesses you can get to stick around and make a statement to the police. Make sure the other driver is okay but then be sure to take down their vehicle license plate number and take as many pictures as you can while waiting for police. Make sure to tell the officer exactly what happened. They will handle the exchange of insurance information and they will write up a report. There may be points of contention. Right now you’re just looking to protect your rights. Try and get an insurance estimate as soon as possible and make sure you submit all the proper paperwork while keeping all your receipts and copies.
If you are hurt you should get treated right away. The DMV provides a detailed guide on how to evaluate personal injury at the scene of an accident. Make sure to stop any bleeding, wrap anything that’s in pain, and wait for emergency personnel to arrive in case you need to get to an emergency room. Make sure to get treated for everything that could be related to this incident. If you get a lawyer involved, experts at Winters and Yonker state that they should handle ensuring you receive evaluation and treatment assessed in a timely manner, that there is complete recovery physically and financially, and that they provide both insurers of all the details that need to be included to ensure proper recovery and compensation. So whether you involve a lawyer or it’s mild enough to handle on your own, keep all your originals of the paperwork and send them everything they ask for.
A final thing about settlements you can never tell is just how damaged were you? How bad was your car impacted? How much were you impacted? How did this change your life? It’s always wisest to err on the side of caution rather than trying to be the hero and grin and bear it. You will have a far more difficult time getting recompense for a post-settlement injury than if you dealt with it when it happens.