What Not to Do After a Car Accident in Austin
Most people have lots of questions after experiencing a car accident. Depending on how the accident happened, injured drivers may have several options for legal action available, but it’s vital to know how to approach these situations by speaking with a qualified Austin car accident lawyer as soon as possible. There are some things that every driver should know about how to handle a car accident in Texas, especially the things that can hurt an injured driver’s chances of securing compensation.
Don’t Leave the Scene
Almost every state requires drivers to notify the police of any car accidents that involve injury or property damage. Do not leave the scene of your accident until the police arrive and give you permission to leave. You must provide the police with your statement, and leaving too soon could lead to a hit-and-run charge, even if you spoke with the other drivers and exchanged information.
The police will question you about your accident. It is crucial that you answer their questions truthfully without implicating yourself as responsible for the accident, even if you believe you are at least partially at fault. Many factors come into play during a car accident, and even plaintiffs who were partially responsible for their accidents can sometimes win compensation in their civil claims. Answer all the questions truthfully and avoid saying things like “I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t stop in time.” Although these may seem like harmless comments, some police officers may interpret them as admissions of fault, which will significantly hurt your chances of winning your civil case against the at-fault driver.
Don’t Post on Social Media
Many people have lost legal battles or ruined their personal injury claims with social media posts. Some people assume they are going to win lots of money from their cases and brag about it online. Others post pictures that may conflict with their reported injuries or other aspects of a legal claim. Posting on social media essentially equals posting in public, so the courts can use anything you post on social media against you.
Don’t Talk to Insurers or Lawyers Without an Attorney
You may receive calls from the other driver’s attorney or insurance company. You should have your own Austin accident attorney or insurance company handle these calls. Most people will mistakenly believe they have to answer these questions, and, in doing so, they injure their chances of winning their claims. If anyone contacts you for information about your accident, politely refer them to your attorney and do not engage with them any further.
Don’t Take the First Offer
While this tip may not apply in every situation, a good rule of thumb is to avoid accepting the first settlement offer from the other side. While they may offer what appears to be a substantial amount of money, the truth is that the first offer in settlement negotiations is almost always a “feeler” for how much the other side is willing to accept. Discuss any and all settlement offers with your attorney and carefully weigh them against your damages.
Hopefully, these tips will help you successfully navigate your legal claim. If you have any questions about the appropriate course of action following a car accident, speak with a reliable personal injury attorney as soon as possible.