If you’ve been in an accident, you have many rights. Many accident victims do not know all their rights, and as a result receive much less compensation than they’re entitled to obtain. The 5 important rights to know if you are in an accident are the following:
1. Right to consult your lawyer before talking to an insurance company.
Anything you say after an accident can be used against you. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult your lawyer before talking to an insurance company. Insurance adjusters will likely try to get recorded statements from you about the accident and your injuries and use these against you later to deny or lower the value of your claim. Talking to your lawyer before giving a statement can prevent this from happening to you.
2. Right to receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Accident victims can obtain compensation for many things, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and costs to fix or replace damaged property. Obtaining all the damages you’re entitled to receive puts you in a much better position for the future — if you have more medical bills and lost wages after your claim is settled, you will have been compensated for this and won’t bear these costs yourself.
3. Right to compensation from all parties legally liable for the accident.
In many accidents, different parties can be liable to pay your damages. For example, if your car is hit by a truck driven by someone who is on the job, you can make a claim against the truck’s driver and employer. The right to obtain compensation from all liable parties is helpful when some parties can’t afford to pay your damages.
4. Right to compensation even if you partly caused the accident.
In most states, accident victims have the right to compensation even if the accident was partly their fault. Generally, your damages will just be reduced by the amount of your fault.
5. Right to accept or reject settlement offers.
Your lawyer will try to get the best settlement offer for you, but the decision to accept a settlement or reject it and go to trial, is up to you. Just because an insurance company or someone else says a settlement is their best and final offer, doesn’t mean you must accept it.
These are some key rights of accident victims. Understanding and exercising them will help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. If you have any questions about your rights after an accident, ask your lawyer. Your lawyer is truly on your side and is the best person to answer questions you have about legal rights.