No one ever plans on getting into a car accident, so when it happens, it can leave you feeling flustered and out of control of the situation. But if you want to protect your legal rights, you need to be very careful about what you say and do during the immediate aftermath. Here are 3 things you should definitely not do if you find yourself in a fender bender.
If the accident was clearly your fault, the very first thing you might say upon getting out of the car is, "I'm sorry." While that may seem like the decent thing to do, it could end up leaving you exposed in court, because an apology can be viewed as an admission of guilt. Why wouldn't you want to assume guilt even if it looks obvious that it was your fault? Well, for starters, what if the person you hit in a very minor accident suddenly developers additional problems the morning after the wreck. Yes, the accident might have been your fault but you don' t want to give a potential legal opponent any additional ammunition in the courtroom. Keep your apology to yourself.
Don't Agree to Handle It Without the Police
If your accident turns into a case of he said, she said, the only thing that might save you is a witness or a police report. It's not that uncommon for individuals involved in smaller accidents to want to avoid the hassle of calling the police. But what happens if the other person involved suddenly decides to tell their insurance company a different version of events from what actually happened? Having a police report on your side could pull the case in your favor. Always ask for a report, no matter how small the accident may seem, especially if you know you are not at fault.
Don't Talk to the Other Person's Insurance Representative
It's customary when insurers investigate accidents for them to question all parties involved. But no matter what the insurance representative says, you have no legal obligation to say anything to the other driver's company. If you get hassled about this, it's time to turn your attorney loose on them. A good car accident attorney will know how to handle this situation and get the insurance company off your back.
If you are in a car accident, remain calm and don't make any rash decisions. Avoid apologizing and always get a police report filed because you never know what might happen once the insurance companies get involved. Most importantly, if you feel you have a good case, reach out to an auto accident attorney for more information. Click here for info.