The Legal side of Car Accidents: Know Your Rights

One of the worst things that can happen to you when you are on the road is if you bump someone with your car, or somebody hits you. As soon as it is established that everyone is fine, and you feel relieved that nobody is hurt, the horror starts. You call the cops, you estimate the damage on your car (which is why it is important to get insurance) and the hours and hours of waiting and paperwork.

Car accidents are very frequent in the United States, and a small percentage of them can be fatal for the eighter party involved. When driving, you should always be aware of your surroundings, as reckless drivers can appear from anywhere. When involved in a car accident, your rights need to be protected as every car accident has a legal side.

In this article, we are going to tell you about your rights when involved in a car accident.

What Are Your Rights When Involved in a Car Accident?

When you get into trouble with the law, the rights are pretty clear. You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. This is all from cops shows and CSI shows that we’ve watched from over the years. But have you asked yourself what are your rights when involved in a car accident? Remaining silent certainly isn’t going to help you there and you will only raise suspicion. All you will do is worsen the situation, and let’s not forget that this isn’t a movie – it’s real life.

· You Have the Right to Protect Yourself

We don’t mean literary self-defense, but protection against legal consequences. As a participant in a car accident, you have no legal or moral obligation to admit fault at the scene. If the other person is the other car is injured, the first thing might come to mind to say sorry. Avoid being sympathetic as it can be used against you as an admission of fault.

· Do Not Admit Fault

Moving on nicely from the last sentence, the police will take statements after a car accident. Photos will also be taken as evidence and anything else that might prove vital to determining who’s at fault. When giving a statement, never lie to the police but keep your statements short and strict to the fact. You don’t want to talk and talk because you can get yourself in more trouble then you are in at that moment. Answer their questions politely and stay collected. Again, never admit guilt or apologize.

· You Have the Right to be Treated for Injuries

If you’ve suffered injuries due to recklessness, carelessness, or general negligence by another driver while on the road, then you have the right to be treated for injuries. According to, these rights apply if you’re residing in the Chicago area and are eligible for full compensation. However, such laws apply to other cities and states in the US. This is why it is important to know what your rights are in a state where you live and where you do most of the driving.

Responsibilities When Involved in a Car Accident

After a car accident, you have the right to safeguard the above-mentioned rights. However, if you’re involved in a car accident, you have certain responsibilities. Some of the responsibilities are listed below.

· Calling 911

This is the first thing you should do if you’re involved in a car accident. You might have suffered injuries, the other person might have, or you both might feel fine. But when in a car accident, adrenalin can mask injuries, so you must contact 911 and an emergency responder.

· Document the Scene

If you’re able and in condition to take evidence of the scene, do it as it can prove vital in determining your innocence. Take photos of the scene using your smartphone including your vehicle, the other vehicle, street lights, signs, road conditions, and anything else that might have played a role in the accident.

· Talk to Witnesses

In most accidents, there will be witnesses. So it’s also important to talk to these people, take their contact information, and ask for their testaments if they agree to give. Don’t be skeptical because people are willing to help in these cases. They will not hold off information intentionally and the reason is that they know what it is like to be in these kinds of situations.


As you can see, car accidents can be quite complicated besides the usual procedures. There’s a whole legal side to it and you need to know what your rights are, when it is not your fault and when it is your fault. The most important thing is not to panic, but this can be avoided by educating yourself on the legal actions you can take in various cases.

Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the started.