Every defendant in a personal injury case should have 2 primary concerns: 1) How to protect his/her legal and financial rights? 2) How to keep a bad situation from getting worse?
Smart defendants can address those concerns by taking certain actions at the site of the accident.
• Calling police
• Cooperating with law enforcement officers
• Taking part in the exchange of contact information
• Supplying the victim and the arriving officers with insurance information
• Taking pictures
• Seeking medical attention
Smart defendants’ complete other actions upon arriving back at their residence
• Reporting accident to the insurance company
• Contacting an attorney, if an insurance company is not providing one
• Cooperate with insurance company during its investigation
A defendant’s concerns could grow if he/she were to undertake one of these foolish actions
• Moving the involved vehicle, unless it proves to be a hazard
• Leaving the site of the accident
• Hiding evidence
• Throwing out evidence
• Discussing accident with any other person, except the arriving officer and a retained injury lawyer in Bedford.
• Failing to contact the insurance company
What actions could help to relieve a defendant of the need to have grave concern about the potential issues?
A car owner and driver that have purchased an insurance policy with high limits would have fewer concerns. In that case, the adjuster would have lots of money to play with. Consequently, the adjuster could work with the plaintiff’s lawyer to arrive at a fair settlement. By the same token, such an action could act as a shield against an unwanted possibility.
What unwanted possibility could cause even greater problems for a defendant?
Any driver that thinks only about his/her desire to get somewhere quickly could end up forgetting about this possibility. There is always the chance that an injured victim has suffered with a pre-existing condition, or has recovered from a previous injury. In either case, the forces created by the accident could aggravate the existing condition, or the recovered region of the victim’s body.
According to the law, no defendant has a right to claim that a victim’s weakened condition has made the injuries worse. Still, an adjuster might seek to show that the victim could have introduced stronger protective measures, such as wearing a more elaborate seatbelt.
Not all adjusters would undertake that action. However, if the defendant had purchased a policy with high limits, then the likelihood that the adjuster’s argument might follow that reasoning would increase.
As mentioned earlier, a policy with higher limits would provide any adjusters with more money to play with during the negotiations. Adjusters have learned how to use that advantage during the pre-settlement negotiations. Consequently, an adjuster’s argument might cause a reduction in the expected size of the anticipated settlement.