Being involved in an automobile crash can be a disastrous event for anyone. All parties involved can suffer serious injuries and property damage. For those who are ticketed by the police and considered at fault for the accident, however, the experience can be even more disheartening. A driver can face serious financial repercussions and sometimes even criminal prosecution after causing an accident. Because of this, every driver should know how handle an accident if they’re considered at fault.
No Admissions of Fault
The first step that a person should take after causing an accident is actually something that they shouldn’t do: admit fault. Admitting fault, even if a person really believes that they were responsible, is a terrible idea for a few reasons. First off, a skilled attorney could find extenuating circumstances that put the other driver at fault. Additionally, regardless of what comes out during the case, an admission of guilt usually seals the deal from the beginning. Guilt should never be admitted to police, bystanders or the other driver.
Alert the Insurance Company
An individual should report the accident to their insurer as soon as possible. Even if the other driver decides not to file a claim or sue, which isn’t likely, a person with adequate insurance will need to alert their own insurer if they hope to get their vehicle fixed. In reality, though, this definitely isn’t the only reason to call one’s own insurer.
Insurance companies are very fickle about their money. It’s a sad fact that they’ll often use any reason to avoid paying out settlements. This makes it imperative to report the accident immediately and hand over any pertinent documents as quickly as possible. This will ensure that the company can’t deny a claim based on a technicality.
File a Report
It’s always important to call the police immediately following an accident. In most cases, the responding officer will make a police report related to the accident. If they don’t however, the involved drivers may legally need to file an accident report with their state’s appropriate agency. This information can be obtained from the police officer, and in reality, it never hurts to ask the officer to file a report himself if he isn’t already doing so.
Find Legal Help
Depending on the severity of a car crash, an individual may face seriously inflated insurance premiums and, in some cases, even out of pocket punitive damages. This makes it imperative to obtain legal counsel. Insurance policies cover this cost, and the hired attorney is there to represent the driver as opposed to their insurance company. One Charlotte car accident attorney team listed some alarming 2011 traffic crash statistics on their site: 24,690 car accidents occurred in Charlotte over the course of the year, causing 57 deaths in the area and injuring another 12,127 people. This shows just how common accidents can be, and just how vital it is to have sound representation to minimize any avoidable stress when it comes to dealing with the layers that can accompany an auto accident. Attorneys can also protect a person from accident “victims” who are trying to game the system.
Since the rate of fraudulent auto insurance claims has jumped up to 15 percent during certain years ranging from 2002 and 2010, it becomes quite obvious why an attorney is necessary for the at-fault party even in a seemingly simple case. Undetected insurance fraud from the “injured” party can really cost the other driver.
The days and weeks after a car accident are extremely important to a person who causes a wreck. The law doesn’t care that the accident was a simple mistake; it wants to hold someone accountable. Without a skilled attorney, an individual will likely end up paying sometimes exaggerated damages. This is why legal help and knowing how to navigate the landscape of liability are imperative for all drivers.
Akilah Richards has worked as a legal assistant in several areas of law and has seen first-hand the tragic results of gatherings with friends gone awry. She shares simple strategies to help people avoid situations such as drunk driving. If you or someone you care about is ever involved in any type of drinking and driving crimes in North Carolina, be sure to get a Charlotte car accident attorney with a proven record of success, such as Auger and Auger.