Unfortunately, fatal car accidents are still a common occurrence. Even with the advent of technologically advanced safety features such as automatic braking, blindspot detection, lane departure alerts and even autopilot powered by artificial intelligence, bad car accidents caused by the negligence of a driver are still bound to happen. While you may not want to think about ever being involved in a fatal crash, you should be prepared to deal with the aftermath. As a Fresno car accident lawyer, Daniel Setareh has dealt with many cases where his clients have made unfortunate mistakes in regards to the aftermath of their crash. That’s why he has compiled a list of DON’TS for the readers here:
1. DON’T release a crash vehicle for disposal until it has been inspected and photographed by your attorney’s agent. Police photos or your own may miss crucial evidence.
2. DON’T wait a “respectable” amount of time before contacting an attorney. The delay might destroy any possibility of obtaining compensation.
3. DON’T give interviews to investigators or insurers who represent any party who might be adverse to you. If they don’t say who they represent, it’s a good clue it’s the wrong person.
4. DON’T throw away or destroy the clothing the deceased victim was wearing. As difficult as it might be, place them in a plastic bag and guard them, especially shoes.
5. DON’T speculate about what might have caused the accident. If you didn’t see it, you might be weakening your own rights with a guess.
6. DON’T forget to get the name and telephone number of anyone who says they saw the accident. DON’T assume the police will do it.
7. DON’T forget to report an auto accident to your own family’s insurer.
8. DON’T forget to tell your attorney immediately if your deceased family member was on a mission for his/her employer at the time of the accident.
9. DON’T wait six months to see an attorney if some arm of the local, state or Federal government was somehow at fault in the accident.
10. DON’T talk to outsiders about an intention of suing; and DON’T mention any monetary amounts you want in a settlement until you have carefully discussed this with counsel.
When tragedy strikes your family, you probably will be the only ones not prepared to protect your own interests. The adverse insurance company is highly skilled in eliciting answers from you that will minimize the value of your claim. Your own insurer may be in a rush to crush your vehicle to stop storage charges. Medical care providers will be knowledgeable in how to maximize their compensation. None of this is necessarily beneficial to you. Nor will these parties with their own interests necessarily tell you of more favorable options you have.
When the pain is fresh and you are in shock, you need someone to protect you from suffering a second disaster: a financial one. Contact an attorney immediately.