Published on October 6th, 2023 | by Rebecca D. Walker0
9 Legal Rights You Have After a Car Accident
Understanding your rights in any situation can be comforting and empowering. If you’ve been in a car accident in Texas, you should immediately know your rights, including your right to talk with an accident attorney in San Antonio, TX.
9 Legal Rights You Possess Following a Car Accident
1. Right to Remain Silent
Emotions can run high following an accident, and adrenaline can cloud judgment, but remember, you don’t have to talk about the accident. While you should exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver, you’re not obliged to admit fault or provide a detailed account of the event to them. Avoid making statements that might be used against you later. You must inform the police about what happened, but you are not required to say anything that incriminates you, nor must you admit fault.
2. Right to Get Medical Attention
You have the right to seek medical attention after an accident, even if you don’t appear injured. Sometimes, injuries aren’t immediately apparent, but by visiting a healthcare provider, you ensure your well-being and create a medical record that could be useful should you decide to seek compensation.
3. The Right to Report the Accident In Texas
If an accident results in injury, death, or significant property damage, it’s your duty to report it to the police, and you always have the right to report an accident, even if it is minor and the other party doesn’t want to. You then have the right to obtain a copy of the police report.
4. The Right to Challenge Insurance Companies
One of the initial points of contact after an accident will be insurance companies, both yours and that of the other party involved. Know that you have the right to interact with them on your terms. While they will require a statement from you about the accident, you can choose to do so in your presence or with the advice of an attorney. Insurance adjusters have one goal: to minimize costs for their company. This means their interests are fundamentally at odds with yours: to get the total compensation, you need to return to everyday life. They might use tactics such as questioning the severity of your injuries or suggesting that you were at fault, even partially, to minimize their liability. You can challenge their claims and negotiate a fair settlement that adequately covers your damages and injuries.
5. The Right to Pursue Compensation for Damages
When another party’s negligence leads to an accident, you can seek compensation. This includes compensation not only for the damage to your vehicle but also for medical expenses, lost wages, and even non-economic damages like pain and suffering. A lawyer can help you grasp what you’re entitled to.
6. The Right to Call an Accident Attorney in San Antonio, TX
One of your most significant rights is the right to legal counsel. If you seek compensation or face legal action, having an attorney represent your interests makes all the difference. They can help uphold your rights and guide you through the legal processes. However, remember that simply having an attorney can make an insurance company more willing to negotiate with you in good faith, which may allow you to avoid a lawsuit entirely. Find out more here.
7. The Right to Protect Your Personal Information
While exchanging basic information (your name, contact information, and insurance details) at the accident scene is necessary, you’re not obliged to share further personal information. For instance, you’re not required to provide your social security number, discuss the specifics of your insurance coverage, talk about your medical history, or give the name of your employer, doctor, or family members.
8. The Right to Privacy in Medical Records
When you seek compensation for injuries, the opposing party might request access to your medical records. However, they’re not entitled to your entire medical history. They can only access documents related to injuries from the accident. It’s within your rights to maintain your privacy and unrelated medical details are not disclosed.
9. The Right to Avoid Settling Without Counsel
Insurance companies often approach accident victims with settlement offers, and while these might seem attractive initially, they’re frequently much lower than what’s justly owed. Insurance companies know that accident victims often feel a sense of urgent desperation for money and are not above taking advantage of that feeling. Never consider accepting any settlement without first consulting with an attorney. You have the right to ensure you’re adequately compensated. From staying silent at the scene to calling a lawyer and preserving your privacy, standing up for your rights can make a significant difference in the outcome of your situation. Remember these rights and seek legal counsel to protect your interests if you’re in a car accident.
Header Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cars-ahead-on-road-593172/