An auto accident can be more than a fender bender and an inconvenience. Without taking the right steps after the accident, it can turn into a huge legal headache. Retaining an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can protect rights you probably don’t know you have.
Along with the police, insurance companies on both sides will be conducting their own independent investigations. If the other side’s insurer contacts you, tell them to contact your attorney. You’ll never hear from them again. If it’s your own insurer, you’re required to cooperate with them.
Whether you caused the accident or not, what you say in traffic court might be used against you in the future, particularly if you say it when under oath. Your attorney knows this. They’ll prepare you on how you should answer questions in traffic court while still telling nothing but the truth.
Both sides are likely to file claims with their insurers, particularly the person that caused the accident. Claims must be timely, properly filed and documented. Attorneys do this for a living. If you were not at fault and injured, there’s a statute of limitations that must be observed. There might also be certain notice requirements. Attorneys know the law on claims and can help you better understand them.
Leveling the playing field
Insurance companies know accident law and know how to use it against people. Having an attorney that knows accident law takes away the insurer’s advantage. The insurer knows there are two sides to every story, and they’re going to hear your side through a formidable opponent. Their tone will change significantly.
Your insurer might try to walk away
Insurers want to collect premiums but they don’t like to pay out on claims. Your insurer may assert what’s known as a policy defense against you in an effort to avoid covering you. Your attorney can keep them honest.
Understanding what’s signed
You might have never been involved in a stipulation to dismiss, a dismissal order or a release of claims. The experienced accident attorney has. They understand these and will communicate the legal implications of each and every document to be signed by you following a motor vehicle accident.
Consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an auto accident. You have valuable rights that the attorney knows how to protect. Informational credit to Boucher Law Firm.
This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.