Everyone involved in a car accident should consider at least speaking with an attorney. The reason is they are far more likely to find themselves a defendant than a plaintiff. Car accident scenes are replete with opportunities for less-than-credible legal action, both criminal and civil. If it isn’t a driver’s highest priority to defend themselves after an accident, it should be. Here are some reasons you should consider at least consulting with an attorney if you are involved in a car accident.
Do Not Make Any Statements
Even if you believe there is no possibility you could be at fault, you should assiduously avoid making any statements at the scene. Whether you are confronted by another party to the accident, a police officer, an emergency worker or a witness, professionals at firms like The Jaklitsch Law Group will recommend you wait until you have had an opportunity to consult your attorney.
The reason for this level of caution is making a statement at the scene can implicate you in ways you may not be aware of at the time. There is no rush. Once you make a statement, you can’t retract it. It is better to wait.
Preserving Your Insurance Options
Denying fault or admitting fault at the scene can have a dramatic effect on your insurance coverage. Not only could you be setting yourself up for a fight to get coverage for the current accident, you could find your policy ends up canceled. Your opinion about who is at fault carries very little legal weight. It is better to let your attorney speak to your insurance company for you. They will likely be able to preserve your coverage and your legal rights without making any potentially costly mistakes.
Avoid Legal Action
If the counterparties to your accident realize you have legal representation, they will be far less likely to threaten legal action and will also be far more likely to consider a fair and equitable settlement. This is one of the most important reasons anyone involved in an accident should seek legal representation as quickly as possible.
Attorneys are second only to police officers in their skills as witnesses. They also know exactly the right questions to ask in order to arrive at a fairly accurate explanation of what happened at the scene. Sitting down with your attorney as early as possible will provide you the best opportunity to preserve the facts of the incident and to respond with photographs, witnesses and other evidence if your attorney believes they are relevant.
Your attorney is the only person on Earth you can speak to who cannot ever be called as a witness against you. This is because any conversations you have with your attorney are privileged and must remain confidential. The attorney-client privilege is there to assist you in preparing a competent defense. It can also be used to shield frank and open conversation about your circumstances.
Any time you are facing liability of any kind, it is best you consult an attorney as soon as possible. This will help you preserve your rights and avoid unnecessary legal action.