Q: What should I do at the accident scene?
A: Contrary to popular belief, nothing you do or don’t do at the accident scene will likely affect your case. But be polite; be respectful; call 911. Saying “I’m sorry the wreck happened,” and “I’m sorry I caused the wreck,” mean two entirely different things, and people tend to get them confused sometimes. The person you’re talking to may misinterpret what you’re trying to say if you try to apologize. Try to have your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration ready when the police officer comes over to find out what you have to say. If you have a concealed carry permit, try to show that to the officer when you show him your driver’s license. Stay off the road as much as possible. If the wreck happened in a blind spot, try to get around the bend or over the hill and stand by the side of the road and wave to oncoming vehicles to slow down. Move your car off the road if you believe leaving it where it stopped after the wreck is dangerous. Don’t leave the scene before you talk to the police officer unless your gut tells you there is danger, and then go to the nearest public place and pull over and dial 911 if you haven’t already called.
Q: What are “damages”?
A: The possible damages from injury in a wreck include property damage, and for injury to your body: pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages or lost income, loss of future earning capacity, loss of consortium for your spouse, and, if the other driver’s behavior was really bad, like he was driving drunk and caused the wreck, punitive damages can sometimes be included.
Q: Do I have to file suit?
A: Most cases do get settled, and the involvement of an experienced lawyer on your side may increase the amount of settlement. But sometimes a case can’t be settled, and then your lawyer will file suit on your behalf, and go to trial with you.
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