The events that occur immediately after an accident can determine whether the injured person receives reasonable and timely compensation. This person should avoid discussing anything that could later be interpreted as an admission of fault. During this stressful time, an insurance company lawyer can twist an apology into an admission. At the same time, the injured person should listen carefully to what others say and write down key admissions as soon as possible. Often, people make statements at accident scenes, during the heat of the moment, that are helpful to your client’s case.
It is always a good idea to call the police to the scene. Failure to do so could lead an insurance company to deny that an accident ever happened. Photographs of the damaged cars are also helpful. In larger cities, police may refuse to appear at the accident scene. For example, in many large cities police are not required to come to the scene of minor fender-benders with no apparent injuries. Your clients will have to collect all of the pertinent information themselves.
Your client should not leave the scene until she is certain she and/or the police have all of the other driver’s identifying information. This includes their license plate number, name, address, driver’s license number, insurance company, and insurance policy number. It is important to know if the driver was on “company business”; if so, the employer may be liable for the damages. The client should ask the police officer for help in obtaining the police report. Clients must be aware of any conditions relating to the cause of the accident (for example, skid marks, accident debris, and so on).
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