Top 3 Legal Mistakes To Avoid After an Auto Accident
Every year, millions of Americans are involved in automobile accidents; a large percentage of them occur in metropolitan areas like Atlanta. Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP is here to protect your rights when the cost, pain, and suffering from an auto accident is due to the negligent acts of another.
Accident costs regularly exceed the $500 deductible most people carry on their insurance when you include medical expenses, property damage, the cost of a rental car, and much more. Making a mistake at the scene of an accident could be the deciding factor in determining who is at fault – and who must pay out.
The following three mistakes can easily be avoided, and will make the difference in ensuring that the correct person is held liable. While following these tips may not safeguard that you do not owe anything, they will be immensely beneficial for your defense against insurance companies and other drivers.
In most auto accidents, there will be an investigation and several instances where insurance companies and the authorities try to determine the facts of the case. It is impossible for you, as one of the drivers in the accident, to know with certainty whether or not you are at fault in the moments immediately preceding the accident.
While admitting guilt may feel like the right or moral thing to do in the moment, it may adversely impact your ability to collect money if you are not at fault, or can increase the amount you owe. Keep your conversations with the other party short and to the point. Be polite while you obtain their information and be sure to save your conversation for the police.
Not Contacting The Police
The police may be your first line of defense in an auto accident. They can be a credible, unbiased resources of information during the fact-finding part of an investigation. Make sure you receive a police report once it becomes available.
Having a police report can negate any false claims against you and will show your insurance company you have nothing to hide regarding the incident. Without admitting guilt, inform the police in your own words what happened and allow them to file a complete and thorough report.
Leaving before Documenting the Scene
Ensure that you document the scene as best as you can. Today, many phones, tablets, and other devices today have cameras on them; be sure to take pictures of the scene and conditions of the road, any and all damage done to each vehicle, and of the other motorist’s license, insurance card, and VIN number.
If you don’t have a camera on your phone, try to carry one in your car (a disposable camera may make the difference between owing and receiving money in a settlement). Additionally, make a document of your version of the events as soon as you can—to ensure they’re fresh in your mind. A handwritten note, memo in your phone, or email from the scene will work just as well, too. Obtaining as much documentation as you can will be helpful in finding fault and building a case.
Contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP
Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP are Atlanta’s leading personal injury attorneys. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car accident, we can help. Your first consultation is free of charge.