Whether you are the driver or a passenger involved in a car accident, you have certain rights. This article will help you understand those rights so that you can make informed decisions regarding your case.
The first step in a traffic accident is to remain calm and avoid putting yourself or others in harm’s way. This means protecting the accident scene, gathering information, calling the police and reporting the incident.
1. You Have the Right to Remain Silent
The right to remain silent is an important part of your constitutional rights. It was enacted in the United States to ensure that suspects are allowed to secure legal counsel first, and minimize damaging statements made under duress or fear.
However, there are certain situations where police may use silence itself as evidence against you. This is why it is always a good idea to understand your rights when involved in a traffic accident, and to be sure that you have a competent attorney on your side.
Generally speaking, you should not answer any questions that are asked by the other driver or their insurance representatives until you have spoken with an attorney. If you do, then it can be used against you in court if the accident turns out to have been your fault.
Additionally, you should not say anything to the investigating officer at the scene of the accident unless you have spoken with an attorney. The police are going to want to know everything they can about the crash, so resist the urge to argue or otherwise give them something to use against you later in court.
As soon as you have been pulled over, say that you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. You should not answer any questions, give any explanations or excuses and should not sign any documents without a lawyer present.
The right to remain silent has been around for decades, and there are plenty of landmark cases and Supreme Court decisions that have helped people protect their rights. The law is complicated, so it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer about your situation.
2. You Have the Right to Hire an Attorney
When you are involved in a traffic accident, whether it is minor or major, it can be an extremely difficult and stressful experience. However, it is important to remember that you have the right to hire an attorney. Make sure to hire the right lawyer, however, you wouldn’t want to hire a Bus Accident Lawyer for a car accident.
An attorney will know how to build your case and recover the monetary compensation that you deserve. They can also negotiate on your behalf to get your medical bills paid and make sure that the at-fault driver’s insurance company fully covers your losses.
They can also take care of all the paperwork and start the legal process on your behalf. They have a wealth of experience and will be able to handle the details of your case quickly and efficiently so that you can focus on healing.
You should consider hiring an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. This will help to speed up the process and may even uncover evidence that would otherwise be overlooked.
Another benefit of hiring an attorney is that they will work on a contingency basis. This means that you only owe them money if they win your case.
If you have a minor traffic violation, such as a speeding ticket, it is not a bad idea to consult with an attorney before entering into a plea deal. This will save you time, money, and hassle.
If the motorist and prosecutor cannot reach an agreement on a plea bargain, the matter will be scheduled for a trial before the judge. During the hearing, both parties will be required to present evidence to prove their case before the judge. This is often a lengthy process, and if you are unfamiliar with the proceedings or do not have a lawyer to represent you, it can be overwhelming and confusing.
3. You Have the Right to Take Photos
Taking pictures at the scene of an accident is one of the best ways to preserve evidence. If you don’t take pictures, you risk losing critical details about the accident, such as traffic signs or weather conditions that may prove important later in your case.
Having photos of the scene and vehicles involved in your crash will also help your attorney prove your claims. Your lawyer will use those photos to make sure you receive fair compensation for your damages and injuries.
The number of photos you take depends on the nature and extent of your car damage, any injuries you suffered and the other parties involved in the accident. A good rule of thumb is to take three times as many photos as you think are necessary.
Your pictures should include everything at the accident site, from road conditions and skid marks to fluid leaks and debris. If possible, try to get close-ups of items that you might not be able to get from a distance, such as license plates and other vehicle details.
You should also get pictures of the other driver’s vehicle interior, if possible, so that you can see the condition of the seats and doors. It is also a good idea to get photographs of the other drivers’ insurance and VIN numbers.
If you are unable to take photos yourself, ask a friend or family member to do so on your behalf. This will help you avoid any further tension or argument that might arise if there are no photographs of the accident.
Lastly, it is important to remember that you have the right to take pictures of any objects in public places, such as street signs and sidewalks. Some law enforcement agencies are known to ask people to stop taking pictures of them, so you should be extra careful when taking these types of photos.
4. You Have the Right to Exchange Information
When you are involved in a traffic accident, it is your legal responsibility to stop and exchange information with the other driver and witnesses. This is a good idea even if no one is injured and the vehicles are not blocking traffic, according to Scott Holeman, spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute.
First, you should obtain the contact information of all the drivers and passengers in each vehicle. This should include their name, address and phone number. You may also want to ask for the vehicle’s registration, insurance company and policy number.
You should also get a copy of the police report, says Holeman. This report can be helpful when you go to file a claim for injuries or property damage.
In addition, you should ask to see the other person’s driver’s license. This will help you verify that they are who they say they are and that their information is correct.
Once you have all the information, exchange it with the other driver as soon as possible. This will ensure that all of the parties involved have the same information so that they can exchange it with insurance companies and law enforcement later if necessary.
While you are at the scene of the accident, make sure that you take pictures with your cell phone or a camera. This will help you remember the damage and other details of the crash. You can also use the photos to support your case if you file a lawsuit. You should also keep a written record of what happened at the scene and of any other contacts you made, such as with your insurance company or body shop.
5. You Have the Right to Move Your Vehicle
If you are involved in a traffic accident and your vehicle is blocking traffic, you have the right to move it out of the way. This is especially important if it blocks the flow of traffic and prevents further accidents from happening.
However, you must also take care to do this safely. If you’re not sure if your car is safe to move, you should call the police.
Whether or not you should move your vehicle after a traffic accident is a judgment call, and you should only do so when it’s safe. The first priority should always be the safety of others.
In addition, you should also consider the fact that changing a scene could make it difficult for investigators to collect evidence. This is particularly true if your accident involves significant injury or damage.
According to Tennessee Code Annotated SS 55-10-106, drivers involved in accidents that cause injuries or death are required to move all injured persons to a safe refuge. This is usually an area on the shoulder or emergency lane of the road.
Even if your crash is minor, it’s a good idea to record the details of the incident so you can have a written account of what occurred. It could help later if you have to file a personal injury or auto insurance claim.
If you are unable to record the event, it’s also a good idea to gather as much information about other drivers and witnesses as possible. This can include name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number, and license plate number. It can also be useful to get a witness’s statement, since it can help establish a third-party account of the crash.