CAR ACCIDENT FAQS
First, you should remain at the scene as leaving the location of an accident could be considered a criminal offense. If possible, you should move your vehicle to a safe location, where it does not pose a hazard to you or other people. If you are injured, you should call 911 for emergency care.
Yes!. Even if the other party does not want to involve the police, it is important to have an official record of the accident. An experienced investigator will know how to diagram the scene and make important observations.Also, mMany times, a person will not realize the extent of his or her injuries because of the adrenaline and shock from the accident. It is important that anyone involved in an accident understands that many injuries are not readily apparent and may develop over time.
Although it may be tempting to rely exclusively on the officer’s report, it is important to take your own notes. You should record:
- Information about the location of the accident, the date and time of the accident, weather and road conditions, and any other relevant details (making a rough diagram of the accident site is worthwhile if you are able to do so);
- The names and contact information of all other the people at the scene of the accident. Even if someone does not want to be a witness at trial, it is important to get his/her name, address, and telephone number, if possible;
- The insurance information of the other driver;
- The descriptions of all vehicles involved in the accident, including makes and models; and
- Descriptions of any injuries that were evident at the time of the accident, including that of the other driver and passengers.
Yes!. In years past, attorneys used to recommend that all drivers keep a camera in their vehicles for this exact purpose. However, with the advances in cell phones and other technology, most people have the means to take pictures at any time. If you are injured in the accident ask, another person at the scene to take pictures for you. Do I have to let my insurance company know about the accident?
Yes. In order to ensure that you have coverage for the accident, you must report it to your insurance provider and cooperate with the investigation. However, this does not mean you should make any statement about who was at fault in the accident. You simply need to report the facts & not opinions on responsibility An experienced accident attorney can help you understand your obligations and communicate on your behalf
Do not talk to them!. Although you have a duty to communicate with your own insurance company, this does not apply to the other driver’s insurance provider. Insurance companies have been doing this for a long time and they know that the best way to limit payments is to pressure the victims of an accident into making a statement about fault, lack of serious injury, or other statement against their interest. These companies have experienced representatives and attorneys who are skilled in subtle interrogation techniques. Do not give them a chance to try and trick you into saying something that you do not mean. This is one of the many reasons that it is critical to retain a knowledgeable attorney as quickly as possible after an accident has transpiredas
It depends. Many times injuries develop slowly over a period of time anywhere from hours to days, and even weeks, after the accident. It is important to get a medical evaluation to make sure that you are not doing more harm to yourself, as certain conditions can deteriorate rapidly without the proper care. This initial medical report also may be critical in any future litigation that arises as part of the accident.
A driver has a duty to control his motor vehicle in such a manner as to avoid causing harm to anyone else. If driver recklessly or negligently operates his or her vehicle and it leads to damage to people or property, then the driver is responsible for the harm. Some common types of driver negligence include:
- Driving too fast, which may vary depending on weather conditions at the time of the accident;
- Aggressive driving;
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving;
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failing to obey traffic laws, including not signaling a turn or stopping at a light or stop sign;
- Failing to maintain the vehicle in the proper condition; and
- Any other behavior that a reasonable person under the same circumstances would not have done
This is a common first step under many accident scenarios. Unless it is obvious from the accident report that there is no possible way to dispute that the other driver was at fault, an insurance company is going to begin the negotiation process with an initial denial of liability, while attempting to get you to admit to some responsibility for the accident. Do not let them fool you. This does mean that you will need to prove that the other driver is liable for the accident. Hiring the right auto accident attorney is critical to getting full compensation for your injuries and property damage.
The compensation that someone receives after being in a car accident depends on the severity of the injuries and property damage that he or she suffered as a result of the accident. Money will generally be awarded to cover the following:
- Medical bills and expenses;
- Ongoing rehabilitation, physical therapy, or necessary medical treatments;
- Lost wages;
- Future earnings that would have been paid but for the accident;
- Pain and suffering;
- Permanent disability or disfigurement;
- Property damage; and
- Other miscellaneous expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
If a loved one was killed in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death and loss of companionship.
If you have been involved in an accident, you likely have many more questions than what we have addressed above DeHoyos & Connolly, PLLC is ready to answer all of your legal questions. We are committed to working with you to protect your legal rights and develop a case strategy based upon what works best for you. Although we are always prepared to go into court and fight for your rights, we are always willing to attempt a negotiated resolution if it is in your best interest or you wish to avoid a courtroom.