Car collisions are not always head-on. Rear-end accidents are also pretty common, and Katy, one of the busiest intersections in the Greater Houston area in Texas, sees quite a few of them. These accidents are caused when the car at the rear hits the vehicle in front.
Although it is usually assumed that the fault almost always lies with the rear driver for not keeping a safe distance from the car in front, it is not always as easy to determine whose fault it was in case of rear-end accidents. If you find yourself in such an accident, a Katy car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights.
Your Right to a Lawyer
If you reside in Katy or any other region in Texas, it is your right to have a lawyer represent you in court in case of a rear-end car accident. The procedure for determining negligence in case of such an accident varies between the fault and no-fault states.
The responsibility of causing the accident is apportioned between both parties. It has to be determined who was at a more significant fault. The person seeking compensation will lose a percentage of the amount, depending on his responsibility in causing the accident.
This requires minute investigation and representation, and only an experienced lawyer can help you with this.
Your Right to Keep Silent
It is within your rights to keep silent and not speak to any parties in the absence of your lawyer, or at least till you have consulted with one. Whether you were at the rear or the front car, if the other party suspects that the fault was predominantly theirs, they might try and take the easy way out by offering you a menial settlement to avoid paying a lump sum amount for compensation.
The course of events after an accident can leave you emotionally and physically vulnerable. It can be tempting to accept an offer of help, or you might end up inadvertently apologizing as a symbol of a good gesture. However, the moment you receive money or say anything that sounds remotely like an apology, it can be used in a court of law to undermine your case.
You shouldn’t speak to insurance representatives as well. They will try to offer you a settlement by downplaying the damages done to the car. Remember that you are not automatically at fault in Katy even if you have rear-ended a vehicle and need a lawyer to establish that.
Your Right to Gather Evidence
Since Katy follows the rule of comparative negligence while determining the fault of each party, you have the right to gather evidence at the accident spot to help your lawyer understand the circumstances of the accident.
The car in front could have braked and skidded suddenly, leading you to rear-end the car. Or, if you were in the front, it could be that you had to apply brakes all of a sudden because the traffic from another lane broke the rules, and you could have been in a head-on collision.
Such evidence is of primary importance in a rear-end accident. Do not let the other parties click photos, make videos, or speak to the witnesses. You can also request the medical records of any injuries you sustained from the hospital, and the hospital staff is bound to share the details with you or your lawyer.
A Katy car accident lawyer will help the jury determine the emergency of the situation and understand the circumstances of the accident. They will try to reduce your responsibility as much as possible to get you the highest possible claim amount and recover the damages.