After any motor vehicle accident, it’s important to handle interactions with the other driver in the right manner. At Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC, our legal team has handled thousands of motor vehicle accident cases, and these tips from our attorneys can help you stay calm and protect your rights after an accident.
At The Accident Scene
Immediately following a motor vehicle accident, you may feel frightened and angry. Once you have checked that everyone in your vehicle is okay (including yourself), ask the other involved parties how they’re doing. Losing your temper can lead to unnecessary conflict and miscommunication—if you feel agitated, take some deep breaths and compose yourself before speaking to the other driver. Taking photos and notes or just sitting in your car can also help you calm down and distract you from the chaos.
While it’s important to keep your cool, do not take responsibility for the accident or make any statements such as “It was my fault,” while talking with the police or others who may have been involved in or witnessed the accident. Make sure to politely ask for other driver’s insurance information, address, phone number, driver’s license number and license plate number. It’s also a good idea to get contact information and statements from any witnesses.
What To Do If The Other Driver Asks To Avoid Insurance
In some instances, a driver may want to pay you directly for the damage to your vehicle to avoid filing an insurance claim. Failing to report an accident to your insurance company can backfire, even if the damage to your vehicle is minor. Injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents may not manifest themselves until days or weeks later; or the other driver may change his or her mind and end up suing you for damages.
If a driver asks you not to contact the insurance companies, politely decline. Even if the other driver did not file a claim with his or her insurer, your insurance company will contact the other party’s insurer after you file a claim. At this point, contacting an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney is vital—unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of making money and both your own and the other party’s insurer may not have your best interests in mind.
After The Insurance Claim Is Filed
After you’ve filed a claim with your insurance company, you should not have any further contact with the other driver. If the driver contacts you for any reason, refer him or her to your attorney or insurance adjuster. Negotiating or discussing the accident without the assistance of a professional could cause serious trouble for you down the road.
Contact A Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of another driver’s negligence, don’t let your frustration get in the way of recovering compensation for your damages. Our attorneys at Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC, will protect your rights and work to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 732-936-9901 to schedule a free consultation.