When we are involved in a car accident, it can be confusing and frustrating. There are times when determining liability for an accident is very easy due to the obviousness of the circumstances. However, there are other times when it can be a bit more complex, and you could even end up wrongly accused of having caused it.
Table of Contents
- Steps to Take If You Have Been Accused of Causing a Car Crash
- Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
- Do Not Admit Fault
- Do Not Speak to an Insurance Adjuster
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Steps to Take If You Have Been Accused of Causing a Car Crash
Getting wrongly accused of causing or being at fault for an accident can be a harrowing experience. Depending on the nature and severity of the accident and whether someone was injured or killed in the accident, the repercussions could be severe. If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and wrongly accused of causing the crash, it is imperative that you speak with a skilled car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Car accident claims can be extremely complex and challenging depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. This is true especially if fault and liability have been disputed. If you are facing accusations of causing a car accident, it is important that you know how to fight back to make sure that you recover the compensation to which you are entitled.
There are a number of steps you can take in such circumstances to help ensure that your legal rights are protected and that the at-fault parties are held liable for your injuries damages and losses. This process can be intimidating. An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you understand what the process entails while making sure that the facts of the case emerge.
If you or a loved one ever find yourselves involved in such a situation, here are some of the dos and don'ts to help you:
- Immediately call 911 to request the police and emergency services. No matter how minor the crash may have been, it is always important to call the police so they can make an official report of what happened. The emergency services will also prepare a document on any medical care you may have needed at the scene of the accident.
- Collect as much evidence as you can. This information will be beneficial in case you decide to start a legal process. If possible, take photos of everything you can! Photos of how the cars ended up on the road, photos of the damage your vehicle suffered, photos of your injuries, photos of nearby traffic signs, photos of passenger injuries, photos, photos, photos. All of this can help rebuild the accident during a legal process and will be essential evidence for your case. Similarly, get the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Witnesses can be of great help during the investigation.
- Do not admit any responsibility for the accident. This is vital. Many times, when in a confused state, we can utter words of apology without thinking. Be very careful of what you say so that it is not construed as an admission of guilt. There are many things you should not say after a car accident. Wait for the confusion to pass so that you can take a closer look at what happened.
- Do not provide any statements to insurance companies. It is likely that days after the accident, the insurer will contact you to request a statement with the excuse of expediting your claim. However, this statement could be used against you. Do not agree to make a statement or comment without first consulting an attorney.
- Hire a California car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
It's always a good idea to collect as much evidence as you can, starting from the scene of the crash. Examples of crucial evidence at the accident scene including photos and videos using a smartphone or camera that show vehicle damage, injuries, skid marks, debris, traffic and weather conditions, accident location, etc. It is also important to collect contact information for eyewitnesses and information from other drivers including license and insurance details.
As soon as you are able, take the time to write down the date, time and location of the car accident. This can be helpful if you need to access security or traffic camera footage that could serve and crucial evidence in your case. Make a note of the weather conditions or any other hazards such as traffic lights that were not functioning. Record an accurate description of the events that led to the crash, without admitting fault.
If you are unable to collect evidence at the scene of the crash, ask a family member or friend if they can help you do that. An experienced car accident lawyer will also be able to help you gather, preserve and compile critical evidence that can help put you in a better position to receive maximum compensation for your losses.
Do Not Admit Fault
Never admit fault at the scene of the crash or in the days and weeks following the accident. While you may think you were at fault at the time, you may not have seen the full picture or have all the facts to make the determination. Even saying something as simple as "I'm sorry" to the other parties at the accident scene may be construed as an admission of fault on your part.
There is a lot you could lose if you admit fault in a car accident. You may risk losing the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damage to the vehicle. When you admit fault, you may also be exposed to a lawsuit from the other party to pay for their injuries and damages. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you recover the compensation you rightfully deserve and negotiate skillfully with the other parties' insurance companies.
An admission of fault, however, could seriously complicate things and make it much more difficult for all the at-fault parties to be held liable for the accident. So, it is important to remember not to admit fault if you end up speaking to the police, insurance companies, defense attorneys or other parties involved with your case. Never talk to anyone or provide statements unless you have spoken with your lawyer.
Do Not Speak to an Insurance Adjuster
In the days and weeks after the accident, avoid talking to an insurance claims adjuster or attorneys for other parties. If you make a statement before the crash has been fully investigated, you could end up jeopardizing your claim. Anything you say can and likely will be used against you.
While an insurance adjuster might seem pleasant, it is important to remember that he or she is not your friend. An insurance adjuster's job is to protect the interests of the insurance company and help cut the corporation's costs. In other words, the insurance adjuster's job is to minimize your payout, which means more profits for his or her employer.
Insurance adjusters will try to get a recorded statement from you so they can use any perceived inconsistencies in your statements to deny your claim or reduce the value of your case. Never provide a recorded statement. If you are being approached by the other side's insurance adjuster or being asked to sign an agreement or pressured to agree to a quick settlement, contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help you secure fair and full compensation for your losses.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
It is important to contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney early on in the process so they can begin working on your case right away. Never agree to a settlement or sign any agreements or waivers without first speaking to a reputed car accident lawyer.
One of the biggest advantages of securing the legal expertise of a car accident lawyer is that they can provide you with valuable guidance and support through the legal process. A knowledgeable lawyer can analyze the details of your case, assess the value and strength of your claim and provide you with advice on the best course of action. In car accident cases, preserving evidence is extremely critical. Your case is only as good as the evidence you have to prove your case.
The expertise of an injury lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes and the pitfalls that could put your case in jeopardy. Retaining the services of a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles does not have to be expensive. At the Vaziri Law Group, APC we do not charge clients any fees unless we secure compensation for them. We work on a contingency fee, which means we receive a percentage of your award or settlement. We also offer free initial consultations. Call the Vaziri Law Group, APC to fins out how we can help.