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What to Do After a Car Accident

1. What to do at the accident scene

  • What to do when the police arrive
  • Should you call an ambulance?
  • What you can do to protect your rights while still on the scene

2. What to do in the days following the accident

  • What can you do if you have an injury that didn’t manifest on the day of the accident but starts setting in later?
  • How to document your injuries

3. How to get a copy of the police report & what to do if it’s not accurate – When to contact an attorney if you’re injured

4.  Tips for dealing with the insurance company before you have a lawyer

5. How to start the process of hiring an attorney

6. Who will pay the medical bills after an accident?

7. How should you talk to young drivers about being prepared for a car accident?

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Scott: Good morning. I’m Scott Kilpatrick from Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick. And with me today is my partner, Mason Waring, and our Associate Attorney, Leah Small. Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick is a law firm that represents individuals on insurance claims for insured benefits or insured losses, that includes veterans disability benefits. And a significant part of the practice is actually car accidents because car accident losses are often dependent on insurance, the availability of insurance and the willingness of insurance carriers to pay appropriate damages. We’re going to talk a little bit about car accidents today, how to handle the insurance claims, how to respond to the scene. Mason, can you get us started?

Mason: Sure. I think the first thing to touch on is what to do at the accident scene right after the accident occurred. And I know we’ve all gotten phone calls from friends and loved ones and clients from the accident scene. I was just in an accident, what do I do? And so we thought this would be a good topic to start with.

Scott: Great.

Mason: Number one, stop the vehicle. You don’t want to get charged with a hit and run. It seems common sense, but it’s…

Scott: So pull over.

Mason: Pull over. Second, assess the situation, take a breath, are you hurt, or is anybody else hurt, then call 911. Ask for- ask for the police. If somebody’s hurt, ask for an ambulance. There are actually laws that require drivers to call the police to a scene under certain circumstances depending on the severity of the accident, how much in money damages are or how much damage is done to the car or how severe the injuries are. And you’re not a car appraiser, and so if your damages exceed a certain dollar threshold or cross one of those legal thresholds, you might be responsible to legally call the police. So err on the side of caution, call the police to the scene, or call 911.

Scott: Different states have different requirements.

Mason: That’s right.

Scott: And you handle cases in states throughout New England, right?

Mason: Correct. After you’ve called 911, you want to continue to stay calm. Avoid getting into protracted conversations with the other driver about how it happened or who’s at fault. That’s not your time to prove your case or prove any point. You could exchange license and insurance information, names, and so forth. But you can also wait for the police to come. The police will facilitate that and document all the information for you in the police report. Just don’t argue with the other driver at this point. When the police arrive, they will come over and speak to you. Be calm with them, speak clearly, don’t exaggerate what happened, but just state the facts because the police officer at that point is doing the investigation to assess what’s happened, and if anybody is hurt, things like that. Of course it goes without saying, tell the truth. And that police report, it’s it – if you are injured and need to make claims down the road for your injuries, that police report will be important evidence that you or it’ll be important to the process for making those claims and assessing what happened and assessing liability. So the beginning of that process is you explaining to the officer what happened. So take your time, do that and do it in a calm, earnest way.

You want to take care of your health. And if you are not feeling well at the scene, let an EMT check you out. It doesn’t mean you have to go to the hospital, but let someone look you over, check your vital signs, and get somebody else’s opinion whether you’re okay because at that moment you might be in shock. You might have a lot of adrenaline pumping through you. And having a third party who’s trained medically to assess you could help you make the decision whether you need to go to the hospital or not.

Scott: If the car is not severely damaged and you don’t think there’s a risk of fire or something like that associated with the car and the car is in otherwise a safe place, if you feel as though you’re seriously injured, should you just remain in the vehicle until the EMTs arrive?

Mason: I think that makes sense. You can put your flashers on, if you can, particularly if you’re in traffic just so the other drivers know you’re in a distressed state. But yeah, you could have a neck injury or something else that could be aggravated if you move. So if you can safely do so, and again there’s no cookie cutter formula for what is right. You have to just use your best judgment at the time. But certainly it may make sense to stay put till the ambulance comes.

Scott: Okay.

Mason: If you’re doing okay at the scene and you can safely get out and about the car, start thinking about protecting your rights at that point. And one of the best tools you have is that camera that’s in your phone. And so take pictures of the scene. You want to get pictures of the vehicles and you – and particularly if the vehicles had not been moved after the crash, document the proximity of the cars to each other because that can say a lot about how the accident happens. Get good pictures of the damage from different angles on all the cars and any property damage.

Skid marks, look for skid marks. If there are skid marks, get pictures of those, any traffic signals, stop lights, stop signs, other streets, a panoramic view of the accident scene anything that you think may be helpful down the road to assessing what happened in the event if there’s a dispute over liability. And again, it goes without saying safety trumps everything. So if you’re in a busy intersection or on a highway or you can’t safely do so or you’re injured, don’t worry about that. But if you were able to, that’s a good time to memorialize some of those things.

Scott: Alright. And you and Leah, we all work together on these cases on a regular basis. Leah, could you maybe sum up what Mason is has been telling us about, what to do at the accident scene?

Leah: Sure.

Scott: What are the takeaways?

Leah: So the first thing you want to do is just take a moment and assess the situation before doing anything else. After that, you want to call 911 and ask for the police. And if necessary, also ask for an ambulance if it’s appropriate. You want to stay calm when you’re talking with the other driver or at the police. And if you can and if it’s safe to do so, take pictures to document the accident. And like you said above all, be safe.

Scott: Great. Thank you both. All right. Moving on. So it’s the day after the accident. Okay? The dust has started to settle. You’re starting to assess the situation. You’re starting to assess how you are, what’s going on with the car, and where is this going to go from there? So, take us from there.

Mason: So cleaning up after the storm?

Scott: Yeah.

Mason: Yeah. Make sure you get appropriate treatment. And at the accident scene, you may feel okay, you may be able to drive away from the scene and – but the next – that night or the next day, you might start having neck pain, back pain, you could have soft tissue injuries from the impact and the jolt. And when you have those symptoms, get treatment. Don’t put it off. It’s…

Scott: Do you find that insurance companies, when somebody does not go to the emergency room, but then says that they begin to feel symptoms that night or the next day are naturally skeptical?

Mason: Absolutely. There’s certainly questions about, well, did something else happen in between? Are you faking? Things like that.

Scott: And so, what can people do who have – who genuinely have a whiplash injury or a back injury that didn’t manifest on the day of the accident or at the moment of the accident but start setting in later? What can they do to convince insurance companies that it’s legitimate?

Mason: Get treatment as soon as you can for your symptoms. If you go to the emergency room or walk-in center or your own doctor, they can do a physical exam and actually assess with their own hands that you are having – that you have soft tissue injury. They can do – there’s diagnostic testing if it’s severe enough that they can do to assess and actually demonstrate objectively that there is some damage there.

Scott: And this goes for more serious obvious injuries as well because some people are just naturally stoic. They don’t like going to the doctor. They don’t like missing work, and they tend to push through. Is it important to document those injuries?

Mason: It’s absolutely important to document it. And again, it starts with going – it starts with having a doctor document that by getting the appropriate treatment you need for your health. But in addition, if you have bruising, and sometimes bruising doesn’t really show up or isn’t really impressive until the day after, if you have any cuts or scrapes, take photographs of it, document it, and preserve it and take pictures over time and note what date you took the pictures on. So you might say, “All right, this is what it looked like the day after. This is what it looked like two days after,” and actually show what you were experiencing over time the progression of those injuries.

You also want to keep – it’s great if you can keep a diary of your symptoms, like a symptom log and document how your symptoms impact your ability to do your daily activities. And so, maybe you’re able to go to work. But maybe you can’t go to the gym and going to the gym is really important to you or maybe you can’t play with your children or maybe you were able to go about your normal activities but you’re in a terrific amount of pain doing it, taking Advil. And so, just document all that because memories fade and you know three weeks down the road you may not remember all the rotten experience you had in the days following the accident.

So if you’ve gotten the treatment, you’re documenting your injuries, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and loved ones for support. It’s a really stressful time after a car accident. It’s something that unexpectedly interrupted your life. Your car might be out of commission. You might need rides to doctor appointments. You have important decisions to make. And so, connecting with people that you trust about what you’re going through can really be a source of strength for you. Usually, you should get a copy-

Scott: How long can you get the police report?

Mason: Excellent.

Scott: You were about to say that.

Mason: I was about – I was going there. I was going there. Yeah.

Scott: I suspect that we’re working off the same outline.

Mason: I think so. Yeah. Again, the police report is critical to your claim. Not only to a personal injury claim, but also to your property damage claim. And so, after an accident, there’s really at least two claims going on. There’s one for the property damage to your car. That’s usually handled by the two, by – if there were two insurance companies involved, they usually work that out themselves. But they’re going to look at the police report first to figure out what happened and who’s at fault to apportion liability.

For the personal injury claim, the police report is equally important. It’s the first thing that the adjusters on those claims are going to look at. You want to get that as soon as possible. They’re typically available within 72 hours after the accident. You can – many times now, the police officer at the scene will give you a card or tell you how to access the report because different police departments have different mechanisms. There are some that I think are still using the paper method. So you have to actually go back to the station and get a printout of your report.

There’s also different websites that provide a service to police departments that you can login with your – with the badge number of the officer or your name and actually download your report and there’s a couple of other options. The officer would usually tell you about that. But if you’re not sure, you can contact the police station and inquire about the report, get a copy of that, read it, and make sure it’s accurate.

Scott: And if it’s not accurate?

Mason: You want to get it corrected. So, for example, if the officer made an error explaining what you explained to the officer, you want to contact the police department and say, “Hey there’s an error here. What can we do to correct it?” And they will probably have a procedure to do that. If you identify that type of error and you’re injured, you also can contact a lawyer. And if you have a lawyer, your lawyer can help guide you through that process of getting the police report corrected. But you don’t want to wait on that.

Scott: Right.

Mason: You want to get that as soon as possible. And if there is an error, get it corrected as soon as possible.

Scott: So I started my career in law enforcement. I can tell you that the key in dealing with the police is to be polite and persistent. Polite and persistent.

Mason: It’s a hard job. They’re dealing with a lot of people, and if you didn’t…

Scott: They’re dealing with a lot of people. They’ve got a lot of pressures. And your accident report may not be that – and probably is not the most important thing on their plate at that moment. So if the officer doesn’t respond, go to the records center at the police department, again, super nice but persistent. Because if that police report is not accurate, it’s going to cause a problem for you. That’s going to be very difficult to undo the longer it goes.

Mason: And in addition, just the – to typos in the police report, you might be cited for a moving violation that you disagree with. If you are, that’s something you want to consider fighting in court. There’s the traffic court where you can deal with that and…

Scott: Often, all it takes is just showing up because again the officers are busy. So, if you show up every time you’re supposed to in court, often you can get that that moving violation turned around if it’s not appropriate.

Mason: In the moving violation, it can hurt you in a number of ways. It can be used by – the insurance company said that you were negligent and maybe reduced the damages you’re entitled to. But it can also raise your insurance premiums going forward. So, it’s something you want to take care of if it is not accurate and you disagree with it.

You also want to contact – if you’re injured, contact an attorney as soon as possible. In the days after the accident, that’s ordinarily a critical time that’s needed to preserve evidence. And if you have an experienced insurance litigator, they can take the steps necessary to make sure the evidence is protected. One of the things that disappear most quickly are surveillance videos. And so if your accident occurred at an intersection that had surveillance videos or in front of a convenience store with surveillance videos…

Scott: Convenience stores, banks, gas stations, they all have surveillance videos. Yeah.

Mason: That needs to be locked down immediately because most of those cameras record on a loop and they tape over within 24 hours. It could be more. It could be less, but usually pretty quickly. And so, if you have significant injuries, you might have a significant claim. That videotape can be really critical evidence to establish liability and what happen. So the sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner the lawyer can get to work for you, protecting you.

Scott: And this is an example of why it’s important to listen at the scene. You don’t want to get, as you said, into a long discussion or a dispute with the other driver. But if you hear them saying something to the police officer that is not so or if they have made claims to you that you were at fault or something happened or the light was green when it was red or you get a police report that’s not accurate, that – the picture tells a thousand words.

Mason: And we’ve had some very good experiences.

Scott: With shocking revelations…

Mason: Yes.

Scott: -when we get the video. So, it’s going to be a great tool.

Mason: Absolutely. But if you don’t act on it quickly, it may – it evaporates. So you want to get on that. A lawyer can also handle the insurance company for you. I mean very soon after the accident, you may start getting calls from your own insurance company, from the insurance company of the person who hit you, a lawyer can take that all off your plate. Stop the calls, and you know be that buffer between you and them, which is important, and we’ll talk more about that.

In addition, the officer – the attorney can go out to the accident scene and you – let’s say you were very injured, you had to go in the ambulance at the hospital. There were skid marks. Those are going to fade over time. You want to get photographs of that. There’s also witnesses and witness memories fade too. So we can reach out and talk to witnesses and preserve that really important evidence. A lawyer is also going to identify available insurance coverage. That’s available to pay to compensate you for your injuries. And the obvious source is the insurance for the other driver who hits you. But not – those drivers don’t always have insurance. And if they do, it’s not only sufficient to pay for your injuries. And so…

Scott: So they may be uninsured or underinsured.

Mason: That’s right. And if you may carry – and hopefully you do carry uninsured motorists – underinsured motorist insurance. And that is intended to compensate you for your damages in the event that the other driver doesn’t have enough or doesn’t have insurance. And there can also be umbrella or excess coverage policies. Bottom line is an experienced car accident lawyer and an experienced litigator will be able to identify the available sources of coverage to you.

Scott: You’ve used a couple of terms interchangeably. Is there a difference between a – for lack of a better term, you’ve used a car accident lawyer and an insurance litigator? Is there a distinction there? Is there an extra layer of experience and ability with an insurance litigator?

Mason: Yeah.

Scott: What does litigator mean for our audience who doesn’t understand the difference?

Mason: Litigator means the process of handling disputes between parties that include the process of putting- of making claims, preparing them for court, putting them in court and actually trying them in court before a judge or a jury.

Scott: And so, with an insurance litigator, you – the client gets somebody who can not only make the claim, but if the claim is not treated fairly can do what’s necessary in court to enforce the client’s rights?

Mason: That’s right. And an insurance litigator has the experience to handle coverage disputes. And so there can be situations where you weren’t – you were clearly not at fault. You are clearly injured. But there is a technical reason in the insurance policy that the insurance company may argue bars you or prevent you from recovering funds. And those are coverage disputes that you’re not covered for that loss. An insurance litigator will be able to dig into that and fight those battles. And it’s a – there’s a subtle difference to it, but it’s an important difference.

Scott: So examples could be a late premium or claim that there was a late premium that voided coverage. It could be an intentional and tort exclusion. It could be a family, an uninsured family member exclusion. And there are dozens of these exclusions and limitations on coverage, right?

Mason: Correct.

Scott: Okay.

Mason: Correct.

Scott: Great.

Mason: And it’s important to identify those early. And so, I know – when we take a case on, we look for those issues because it’s important to know what’s coming down the road so you can prepare your case appropriately.

Scott: Right. So be prepared to give your attorney your declarations page, your policy and all amendments and endorsements associated with that policy. And the policy for that year, we tend to get a policy and get their declarations pages every year and not get the whole policy. It’s easy. Just call your agent and get an updated copy of your policy to shoot that over to your lawyer.

Mason: Right. A couple of other things that’s important. An important thing that the lawyer brings to the table is calculating all the – identifying and calculating all damages. And so, the obvious thing is medical bills. So if someone else injured you, you should be compensated for your medical bills. But depending on your state, you can get damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of consortium. If you’ve lost the – let’s say – and those could be claims your children bring. So let’s say you can’t care for your children in the way you did before the accident because of your injuries, your children might have claims for loss of your consortium. And a whole host of other types of claims and damages.

It’s important to do that assessment upfront so you can start gathering evidence to prepare to make those claims. And finally, medical bills. One of the biggest questions we get from potential clients is, “I have all these medical bills. What do I do” Well, that’s – your lawyer should be able to handle that or help you with those types of issues and answer your questions on those. And at the end of the day, if your insurance company pays for your injuries, they’re going to want to be compensated or reimbursed many times for at least a portion of what they paid out of any settlement you get. And so – and there’s other possibilities there too. But your lawyer can help advise you on those things.

Scott: Great. Well, I think we use the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Leah is very good at taking our thousand words and summing them up for us. Will you do that for us?

Leah: Sure.

Scott: Thanks.

Leah: So, you want to get treatment for your injuries as soon as symptoms appear, whether that’s the day of the accident or the days following the accident. You also want to document your injuries with photos or a symptom log so you can keep track, you want to get help from your friends and family, and get your police report and make sure it’s accurate once you do get it. And if you are injured, that’s the time to contact an attorney.

Scott: Great. Thank you. If you’re not quite sure that it’s time to get an attorney, you’re likely to get a call from the insurance company. Right? So what are some tips you can provide our viewers about how to deal with the insurance company before you have a lawyer?

Mason: So I think the first thing to keep in mind is don’t feel pressured to speak to them at the moment. If it’s a couple of days after the accident and you’re not feeling well and you’re just not prepared, it may not be the best time for you to have that conversation. Just let them know it’s not a good time, get the name of the person that’s calling you. Get the name of the insurance company. Get the phone number. Get an email address and tell them that some will be back in touch with them shortly.

Scott: But Mr. Waring, we just – we at X, Y, Z insurance company just want to know whether you’re injured. Were you injured in the accident?

Mason: Yes.

Scott: So, what are your injuries? I’m ready to write them down, Mr. Waring.

Mason: I told you this isn’t a good time to speak. I have your information, and I’ll be back in touch with you. And so you need to be…

Scott: Okay. Thank you.

Mason: That’s a good – that’s a great example. You need to be forceful because they’re going to be forceful. Don’t be rude. Be polite. But hold your ground on it. And you don’t want to get – if you get caught off guard, you don’t want to be subject to saying something that you don’t actually mean just to get them off the phone. You want to have your thoughts together and you want to be in a good physical and mental space to be able to have a conversation because it’s a very stressful situation and we’re all human.

Scott: Thank you. Okay. So nothing like a call from an insurance company to get you to think about hiring a lawyer. So if our viewers are interested in knowing about how to hire a lawyer, what are the things they should take into account?

Mason: Sure. All lawyers that I am aware of that handle car accident cases offer a free consultation and offer to handle the case on a contingency basis.

Scott: What does that mean?

Mason: That means that you don’t pay anything unless the lawyer recovers money for you. So, you don’t pay anything out of pocket. And when money is recovered for you, the lawyer is only paid a portion of the money that they recover for you. That’s pretty much a universal thing. That’s not unique to any one lawyer that I’m aware of. It’s very common in this space. And so, typically you’re going to be able to reach out to a lawyer, learn about them, learn if they can help you for no cost and you’re going to be able – and if you engage a lawyer, you’re going to be able to be represented by them with no out-of-pocket upfront cost. And that’s very common across the board.

Scott: And would you agree that the more serious the loss, the more – in other words, the more serious your injuries and your damages perhaps the complexity, the more important it is to maybe consider talking to more than one lawyer just like you do if you get an estimate for a repair in your house or something like that.

Mason: Absolutely. Hiring a lawyer, it’s an important professional service and you want to make sure that the lawyer is the right fit for you, that they have the appropriate experience to handle your claim and that also that their way of doing things was going to work for you. And one good way to start that process is just talking to your friends and family. Word of mouth. That’s a great way to identify lawyers to begin the process. Even if you knew – if you know a real estate lawyer, let’s say you purchased a house and you had a lawyer handle your closing, that lawyer may not handle car accident cases, but may know someone good for you to talk to. And so talk to some different lawyers. Don’t feel pressured. If you’ve talked to one lawyer, they’re super nice on the phone, don’t feel pressured to work with them. You can look around a bit and make sure you have a good fit.

Scott: Let’s talk about that for a moment. If a potential client is getting pressured by a lawyer to represent them, is that…

Mason: It’s a flag. It’s a flag. I think a lawyer – and I know from our perspective, it’s important that our clients feel comfortable and want to work with us just as we want to be comfortable working with them. The goal is to get the recovery as efficiently and as quickly as possible for the client. But some cases drag on, and it could be just – there can be coverage issues, there can – the insurance company could take a real hard position on a claim and you need litigation, you might be working together for months or years and you want to make sure that you’re in a good relationship.

Scott: So if one of our viewers came in to talk to you and Leah about a potentially sizable serious claim. And then after speaking with you said, “Thank you for your time. I’m going to meet with another lawyer this afternoon. I’ll get back to you.” How would you respond to that?

Mason: I encourage it because I want to make sure that they have surveyed the field and that they have chosen to work with us. We don’t – the goal is not to trap anyone into representation. The idea is we’ll give them – give our perspectives in situation, explain how we may approach things. And then they should make the decision from there.

Scott: Great. Thank you. Let’s see. Leah, you’ve been conspicuously quiet. Can you maybe add a couple thoughts?

Leah: Sure. So like you said, you want to hire to – speak to your potential lawyer before you hire them because you want to make sure that you’re comfortable that your case is in good hands. And I know for us, our approach to cases is rooted the fact that we treat all our cases how we would want our own cases to be handled.

Scott: Great. Thank you very much. Okay.

Mason: I think we have a question.

Scott: We have a question?

Mason: It is…

Scott: Stephen. Tell us the question.

Stephen: How do I pay for medical bills after a car accident?

Mason: That’s a very common question. It’s a great question. When you’re hurt and you’re driving to work, now you’re injured and you have these expenses that you didn’t plan on, who’s going to pay for it? It depends on what state you’re in and what your insurance coverage is. Look, in an ideal world, you get treatment and you put it through your insurance, your health insurance just the way you normally do. If you don’t have health insurance, you may have what’s called Med-Pay insurance. It can be called different things. But it’s essentially automotive medical insurance that you purchase as a part of your insurance policy. And under those, your insurance company may pay a portion of your medical bills. And so you can utilize that. My preference is to go through the health insurance if you have it. But the fallback would be the medical insurance that you would purchase.

Scott: And that’s because you for years have been paying premiums often out of your paycheck or your employer’s been paying premiums for you for the health insurance. And now it’s time to get the treatment you need, get better, and have the health insurance company pay your medical bills.

Mason: That’s right.

Scott: Some states have no-fault or a version or layer of no-fault. That means that the other driver’s insurance or your insurance will pay for that first layer, usually a couple thousand dollars of medical expenses. Is that right?

Mason: That’s right.

Scott: And your health insurance would kick in after that.

Mason: Right. And it varies greatly depending on your State law. That’s a great question for your lawyer depending on where your accident occurred or where your insurance policies were purchased. So it can be a complicated question. And so, I guess the cookie-cutter response is first try to get care the way you normally would if you had like the flu. And if you have problems from there, then you can contact your car insurance company to see if there’s coverage. If your own health insurance won’t pay for it, then your car insurance may cover that.

Scott: The fix for that is, especially if it’s a fairly serious injury and you start getting bills, give them to your lawyer.

Mason: Absolutely.

Scott: And your lawyer – I mean we completely take care of that, right?

Mason: Absolutely. And not only do we advise our clients on the front end when they’re getting treatment about who may be responsible or what coverage might be there for the bills. When you are dealing with the insurance company, you need to keep in mind that some or all the medical bills that were paid, say by your own health insurance company, you may have to pay back to your health insurance company out of any resolution with the insurance company. And so you want to – it’s important to keep that in mind. We do that. And in many times we can negotiate with the health insurance company to reduce those bills for you…

Scott: And put more money in your client’s pocket.

Mason: Absolutely. And protect you from liability because you don’t want to settle out – you don’t want to settle the car accident claim and potentially compromise the health insurer’s rights and then now you’re on the hook maybe for some of the money that was paid.

Scott: That was a long, very good, very detailed answer to our caller’s questions. Can you sum that for our caller so they have a takeaway?

Leah: Sure. So basically, go through your health insurance if you can as you normally would if you were just going to the doctor on any other day. Be aware that your car insurance or through no-fault insurance depending on your State may provide benefits to pay for medical treatment as a result of the accident. But one thing to be aware of is, if you do put it through your health insurance and you get a settlement, they’re going to want to be reimbursed. But a lawyer can help you negotiate that and handle that so you don’t have to worry about it.

Scott: Great. Thank you, Leah.

Leah: Yeah.

Mason: So for that, I’m going to turn the tables on you, Scott. And many of our viewers probably have young drivers in the house. And as a parent who’s had young drivers in the house, what is your recommendation for talking to them about being prepared for a car accident?

Scott: Well, answering in the hypothetical, you’ve touched on most of the points that go into good parenting with respect to car accidents. The main thing – I mean I think any parent when they get the call from one of their kids they’ve been in an accident is, are you okay? Is anybody else hurt? Are you in a safe location? Get to a safe location. How bad is it? Did you call the police? Are they there yet? Especially with minor children, that means 18 and under, really under 18 legally, but I would say anybody who’s a teenager, there’s no such thing as helicopter parenting in that situation. You really want to take control and be supportive, but also pretty much take control even to the point where if you need to jump on the phone with the police officer who responded so you understand what’s going on. You know whether you need to get in your car and go there, whether you meet at the hospital. And then as you were saying the next day, you might want to be involved in, if there’s a lawyer involved, you probably want to take the reins and guide that process and meet with a lawyer, talk to your friends, colleagues, professionals about who’s good, who’s responsible, who’s mature. And I mean that seriously. You want a mature professional seasoned lawyer, whether it’s us or somebody else. And the point that you raised earlier, I believe strongly that when a lawyer discourages you, especially in a serious case from talking with other lawyers once you’ve spoken to them, that’s a red flag. That’s a lawyer who needs that work more than you need to give it to them. And we’re fortunate here that we’ve got plenty of work to do and if the client doesn’t want to hire us, that is absolutely their right, and we want them to be comfortable. And we want to be comfortable with them.

Mason: Absolutely. And getting back to the talking with your children, it’s a hard conversation to have. But it’s probably good to have a preparedness plan or at least have- walk through what to do with them so that they’re not panicking and haven’t thought about…

Scott: Right.

Mason: -being in an accident.

Scott: I mean we all say drive safe, and this is parental/legal advice. We all say drive safe. It never hurts to remind them about driving safe, know who they’re going with, where they’re going, what they’re doing, that way you have, in the unlikely event that there is an accident, you have some context to understand what happened beforehand. And when you’re with your kids driving, use your turn signal, practice good driving in their presence and so they pick up the habit.

Mason: It’s good advice.

Scott: Mason, doesn’t always use this turn signal. That’s why he’s smiling.

Mason: That’s not true. I use my turn signal. Well, I think we’re just about out of time here. We post articles daily on various topics related to the law. We post videos at least once a week. So please be sure to like us on Facebook, subscribe to us on YouTube and follow us on Twitter so that you can get messages and stay up to date on all our new releases.

Scott: Thank you. Great job, guys. Thank you.

Leah: Thank you.

Mason: Thank you for tuning in.

[end]

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