A car accident is both one of the most stressful things you’re likely to experience and one of the most likely serious incidents you’ll experience. There are over 6 million police-reported car accidents per year. 

The consequences of a car crash can be financially devastating, extremely painful traumatizing, or fatal. This makes even the best-case scenario a serious event in your life. 

As such, it’s important to know that, even though you’re stressed and probably shaken up, you have rights. Knowing those rights can help lessen the blow dramatically and help you move forward after the event. 

Today, we’re going to go over car accident legal rights to ensure you’re prepared when catastrophe strikes. 

1: The Right to Document

This one is important to understand. After an accident, everyone is a bit flustered. That’s understandable, but while they’re in a panic, some people might try to prevent you from documenting the incident. They don’t want their insurance premiums to go up or to be held liable in court any more than you do. 

However, it is your right to fully document all evidence at the scene. You can take pictures of all vehicles involved, the surrounding environment and how it might have affected the accident or been impacted by it, the names and insurance information of all parties involved, etc. 

Not only is it your right, but it’s the smart thing to do after an accident. This will help you if any legal case comes of it, and it will help you deal with the insurance company

Of course, the other party also has this right. 

2: The Right to Contact Police

This is similar to the documentation we spoke about. Sometimes, the other involved party might prefer that the police stay out of the incident. This is understandable for a variety of reasons, but you’re not obligated to oblige. 

Car accident legal rights - right to contact the police.

Even with a small fender bender, you have the right to call the police and file a police report. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pressing charges or seeking legal consequences for the other person. It can simply provide you with a police report that can help with insurance processes and any future issues. 

Keep in mind that if the wreck includes serious damage, injuries, or deaths, you are required to call police in most places

3: The Right to Remain Silent

You’ve likely seen this right leveraged on police shows, and it’s relevant in car wrecks, too. 

First, you do have to provide your contact and insurance information to the other person, and they have to provide you with the same information. However, you do not have to answer any questions or talk to the police beyond identifying yourself and providing documentation, or anything else. 

This is a right you’ll likely want to exercise and not speak until you’ve spoken to an attorney. You can accidentally make yourself liable for the accident. 

4: The Right to an Attorney

You have the right to hire an attorney after an accident. In fact, it’s the smartest thing you can do. If you speak to a car accident attorney first, they’ll help you avoid making yourself liable, they’ll give you guidance on what to do next, and they’ll help with any sort of court case or compensation claim you might have to deal with.

5: The Right to Medical Care

No one can stop you from seeking immediate medical attention after an accident regardless of the accident’s severity, whether or not you’re visibly injured, or anything else. If you want medical attention, you have the right to receive it.

Car accident legal rights - right to medical attention.

This is something you should take advantage of after every accident. Even if you don’t see or feel an injury, you might have suffered something that doesn’t start to take effect right away.

If you don’t get medically checked (preferably at a car accident clinic) immediately, and symptoms start showing up months down the line, it’s a lot harder to prove your injury came from the accident. 

6: The Right to Fair Compensation

Finally, you have the right to be compensated for what someone else caused you to go through. You’re not being the bad guy, sob stories don’t affect this, and you do have to take care of yourself. 

There are many things you can be compensated for after an accident. First and foremost, your medical bills and the damage to your property can both be covered by the offending party and their insurance.

Those are the most obvious things you can be compensated for, but you can also seek compensation for ongoing missed work, services required to overcome trauma, and even any fatalities that might have been caused that affect you and the loss that stems from that. 

This is the part you’ll likely get the most pushback for. No one wants to pay out for their wrongdoings, and many will try various methods to avoid being held liable for what happened. 

This is why it’s so crucial for you to take advantage of most of the other rights we’ve mentioned.

They will help you later on when you pursue compensation for your losses, but if you don’t call the police, document everything, receive medical care, and the other things we’ve talked about, you can have trouble receiving this compensation.

That adds a lot of financial burden to the situation on top of the stress that comes from being in an accident. 

Leverage Your Car Accident Legal Rights with 388Ceda

These rights are afforded to all US citizens and residents involved in car accidents, and they’re all extremely helpful for protecting yourself from long, stressful, consequences post-accident.

It’s imperative that you understand your car accident legal rights and have them memorized to ensure that when you end up in an accident, you know exactly how to react through all the stress. 

If you’re in the Miami area, our specialized accident lawyers at 388Ceda can help. Call us before you give any statements, and we’ll help you leverage your rights after an accident. 

We’ve served thousands of victims in the Miami area, and we’re here to help you, too. Contact 388Ceda today!