Your first priority after a car accident is making sure everyone’s safe. But once 911 has been called, it’s also important to think about your future.
Everyone knows that a car accident can lead to legal issues. How do you prepare? The usual advice is: stay calm, ask for the other driver’s contact information and insurance company, and don’t apologize or accept blame for the accident. This helps you avoid looking like the guilty party later on, but there is more you can do. You want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
After an accident you’ll need money to pay for damages to your vehicle and medical bills. Often, the costs go far higher than what the insurance company is willing to pay, and that’s when it’s necessary to take legal action. When you do, you’ll need evidence of what happened.
That’s where a witness can be vital.
Witnesses give weight to your case because they’re unbiased sources. Of course, the police also provide a report of what they believe happened, but this report is based on what they saw when they arrived on the scene – after the accident occurred. Police can make mistakes or take sides even though they didn’t see what transpired.
Likewise, insurance companies will send investigators of their own to try to make you look like the guilty party. They will seek reasons to state that you were speeding or did something wrong. This is speculative, but without other evidence it can carry a case.
Having a witness on your side means having a firsthand account of what happened, from someone who saw it. To most juries, that will carry more weight than an insurance company’s guesswork or even a police officer’s statement.
If you are in an accident and do not need medical attention, consider talking to the people gathered around watching. Again, don’t accept blame – instead, ask them what they saw. If someone saw the accident and witnessed the other driver do something wrong, ask their permission to take down their name and phone number so they can act as a witness. You’d be surprised at how many bystanders are willing to do this.
Of course, if you have no witnesses at all, does it mean you don’t have a case? Not necessarily – a good Miami car accident lawyer can help you face down the insurance company in almost any circumstances. To get a completely free appraisal of how strong your case is, contact Steinger, Iscoe & Greene today.