Car Accidents and Truck Accidents
Staying out of Trouble and Minimizing Potential Liability: What to do, if You Are Involved in an Accident.
The following is educational and informative only. Do not rely on the following as legal advice.
Your freedom, your automobile, and your money are all valuable assets. You must know what to say and what not to say because dozens, if not hundreds, of motor vehicle collisions occur in Central and South Texas daily. What should you do, if you are in an accident? Here are several suggestions to avoid common mistakes made by drivers every day that might lead to jail time and/or money damages or might limit damages you might be awarded to compensate you for your injuries.
1. Do not apologize, admit fault, or make any statements to anyone other than the police. By all means make sure that others are not injured, are safe, and are assisted as needed. But do not make any statements such as, “I didn’t see you.” “It’s my fault.” Or “Don’t worry, I have insurance.”
2. Do Document, document, document. Today, smart phones typically have cameras, and recording devices. Photograph the location of the vehicles, the debris field, the license plates, registration stickers, insurance cards and driver’s license(s) of the other driver(s). Turn on your recorder and ask them, “What do you think happened?” Often, they will give you a statement admitting liability, before the other party’s insurance company has coached them to lie.
3. Do not get angry or emotional at the scene. Yes, you may have every reason to be upset. But losing your cool in public, cursing, fighting, or making threats, can only cause problems down the road.
4. Identify Witnesses. Get the names address and phone numbers of any witnesses. Write down the name and badge number of all responding police officers and emergency personnel at the scene, including what jurisdiction or department they are with (state, county, city, police or fire). Get an incident number, or report number, from the responding officer.
5. Identify Circumstantial Evidence. Take photos of any stop signs, traffic control devices, and skid marks. If you can safely do so, pace off the length of skid marks, as this may provide important evidence concerning the speed of the vehicles. If there is evidence of alcohol use, try to document this as well, and notify the police officer.
6. Call your lawyer. The lawyers of Marquardt Law Firm, P.C. have experience with motor vehicle injury and death cases, 18 wheeler cases, defective vehicles, and drunk driver collisions. The most important time after an accident is the first 48 hours, when important evidence can be collected and preserved. Often insurance companies will dispose of the vehicles in a serious collision, in only a matter of days. Important “black box” data must be preserved and obtained.
Even if you do not think you sustained a serious injury, we can help you get a complete medical evaluation to confirm this fact. Often, serious injuries do not appear for days, or even weeks, after the collision. Call today for a free legal consultation. There is no fee unless we collect for you.
You are going to need someone to advocate for you if you need money damages to compensate you or if you need to defend, protect, and preserve the assets that you have worked hard to accumulate.