Car accidents can be life-altering events, leaving victims battling physical and emotional injuries that may follow them for a lifetime, along with financial burdens. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident in Newark, Delaware, it’s crucial to know how to protect your rights. There are certain steps you can take to safeguard your rights and navigate the legal landscape effectively.
Proudly serving clients across Delaware, the skilled personal injury lawyers at Schmittinger & Rodriguez have helped tens of thousands of clients like you see justice for their injuries. Backed by 62 years of combined experience, we’re ready to start fighting for you today.
1. Prioritize Safety and Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step following a car accident is to prioritize your own safety and the safety of everyone else involved. If you are able, ensure that others involved in the accident are safe. Once you have done so, call 911 to report the accident. If you can, it may be wise to move the vehicles to a safer location to avoid further collisions and hazards while awaiting first responders.
Even if you do not have any noticeable injuries or believe your injuries to be minor, it’s advisable to seek prompt medical attention. Some injuries present later, and, following a car accident, adrenaline, shock, and fear could be masking critical symptoms. Not only is medical attention critical to your well-being, but medical documentation is valuable evidence in any future legal proceedings to protect your rights.
2. Document the Scene
Once it is safe to do so, document the accident scene thoroughly. Pictures of the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, and any visible injuries is more compelling evidence than any testimony could be. This sort of evidence is essential to safeguard your rights and ensure you can prove your account of events. Following a car accident, there is no such thing as too much evidence.
3. Contact Law Enforcement
Even if the accident seems minor, it’s important to call the police so a formal report can be filed. A police report is the objective, official record of what transpired, providing critical details that can safeguard your rights when dealing with insurance companies or in future legal proceedings.
4. Never Admit Fault
An essential step in protecting your rights is never admitting fault, even if you believe the accident was in whole or in part your fault. Making statements that can be interpreted as an admission of guilt to other parties, bystanders, the police, and insurance companies can have a detrimental impact on your right to pursue legal remedies. It’s best to stick to the facts of the accident when speaking with the other party, police, or your insurance company. Fault determination is a complex process best left to the professionals.
5. Exchange Information with All Parties and Witnesses
In order to protect and later exercise your rights, you need to identify who was involved in the accident and who witnessed it. It’s essential to exchange information with other parties involved in the accident. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, and vehicle details. It’s best practice to be kind to those involved and avoid engaging in discussions about fault or liability as what is said in the heat of the moment can come back to haunt you. It’s also wise to exchange information with any witnesses who could provide valuable statements or testimony.
6. Notify Your Insurance Company
It’s critical to promptly notify your insurance company about the accident. Provide basic details that are accurate, but avoid discussing the specifics of the incident without consulting your attorney. Insurance companies will try to settle quickly, and having legal representation ensures that your rights are protected at all times.
7. Secure Legal Representation
While your insurance company can protect you financially, they don’t always have your best interests in mind. They have their own motives to close the case swiftly, avoiding prolonged litigation which is costly and time-consuming. Because of that, you may be pressured to settle quickly, forgoing your right to a settlement that addresses the full extent of all present and future losses. An experienced Newark car accident lawyer can assess the value of your case to ensure that you are receiving fair compensation. Your attorney will guide you through the aftermath of the car accident, ensuring that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Delaware Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in Delaware, turn to a trusted team of personal injury attorneys who will make it their mission to secure justice, accountability, and rightful compensation for you. The skilled and seasoned personal injury team at Schmittinger & Rodriguez is ready to start advocating for you today. With 62 years of combined experience and over 45,000 clients served to date, our team is ready to help you see justice and just compensation for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today for a free consultation!