When a serious car accident occurs, one of the first questions to answer is who was at fault. Should the blame initially fall on you, this does not automatically mean you will be held liable for all damages and injuries suffered by others. Since you too were injured in the crash, there are certain steps you should take to protect both your health and legal rights. Thus, before admitting guilt and going past the point of no return legally, take these steps immediately.
Don’t Initially Admit Fault
Immediately after your car crash, it will be very easy for the other driver to place blame for the accident on your shoulders. However, since the police will investigate your accident, don’t say something that will sound as if you have admitted fault for the accident. By saying “I’m sorry” during the course of a conversation, this could be construed by police and others as a confession on your part.
Hire an Attorney
Since the other driver may quickly try to force you to pay thousands of dollars in compensation for medical bills and other damages, hire a personal injury lawyer within days of your accident. By doing so, your lawyer can interview eyewitnesses, examine police reports, and begin speaking with insurance companies to make sure your rights are completely protected.
Fault or No-Fault State
Since laws vary from state to state, always confirm whether you live in a fault or no-fault state. Since most states are fault states, this usually means your insurance company will be responsible for paying compensation to victims, which can include the other driver, passengers, and others who were nearby and injured due to the accident. Due to the complexities involved with insurance policies, always turn to your lawyer for guidance during this process.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After your accident, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident. However, make sure you stick to the facts of the accident, instead of going off into conjectures about what may or may not have happened. Since it is almost certain your insurance premiums will rise, being proactive may help lessen the increase and other collateral damage that may follow.
Even if it is proven the car crash was your fault, don’t assume this will be a complete legal disaster. By knowing your rights, hiring an experienced attorney, and ensuring your insurance company plays by the rules, you can come through the accident much better than expected.
Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.