Q:

How do you protect yourself from being sued for an auto accident?

A:

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Although there is no way to fully prevent a lawsuit after an automobile accident, there are several important strategies for minimizing the chance of legal action. The most important is to have a valid auto insurance policy and a valid driver's license. Driving without a license or insurance is illegal and greatly increases the chance of both a lawsuit and criminal charges.

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In addition to a valid driver's license and auto insurance policy, drivers must have a current car registration and inspection sticker. Both must be renewed annually, and the proper documentation should be kept in the glove compartment at all times.

When an accident happens it is crucial to stop the vehicle, even if the accident seems to be minor. Failure to stop after an accident is a criminal offense that also increases the possibility of a lawsuit. The Illinois State Bar Association states that if the accident involves a parked, unoccupied vehicle, the driver must leave a note on its windshield bearing their name and telephone number.

In the aftermath of an accident, it is extremely important that the driver does not admit guilt or fault. This includes verbal admissions to police or occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash. Drivers must also not discuss the accident with representatives from the insurance firm representing other parties in the accident.

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