What do you do after a car accident? What do you say to the other driver after your cars have screeched to a halt? While there might be many things you want to say to this person, it is essential to remember there are some things you shouldn’t say at all. From admitting fault to unnecessarily raising the tension of an already-tense situation, saying the wrong thing after an accident could cause more problems for you later on.
So, what statements do you want to avoid after getting into a car accident?
You might feel fine. Maybe you got lucky and walked away without a scratch. But it is also possible that you’re in shock. You may not be able to process physical pain right away.
It is common for accident victims to realize they’ve suffered an injury only after being examined by a doctor. In any case, it’s important not to minimize possible injuries when you speak with the other driver at the scene. If you do, the other driver may report this to their own insurance company, and the insurance company may use your statement against you.
How so? Saying “I’m fine” could suggest that the accident did not cause injuries you later claim. The bottom line is that saying something as simple as “I’m fine” could backfire on you later.
It’s human nature to apologize even when we know we are not at fault. The same desire to diffuse a tense situation with an apology may overtake a shaken car accident victim, but it’s crucial that you do not apologize.
Why should you avoid apologizing? Because the other driver – and any police on the scene of a car accident – could interpret an apology as an admission of guilt. After a car accident, saying “I’m sorry” might affect any recovery for the damages you suffer.
You may be angry after a car accident. Anger is an entirely natural emotional response after a car accident. You might even feel outraged if you feel you weren’t to blame for the accident happening. No matter how angry you may be, though, it’s crucial to avoid accusing the other party. Instead of blaming the other driver involved in the accident, it’s better to consult an attorney and let them advocate for you.
While you should be clear and accurate when explaining what you know about the accident, it’s best to avoid speculating. For example, do not guess how fast the other car was traveling, or assume which icy patch they might have hit. Speculating on the accident may only make it harder for others to investigate what caused the incident. Trying to present any of your theories as fact could create inconsistencies in your version of events. If you do not know something, it’s better to be honest and say you don’t know.
Before you make statements that could work against you, it’s always best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney first. Hiring an advocate to look out for your best interests can protect you and any future recovery or exposure.
Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills, and other complications. Before taking legal action or trying to negotiate a settlement on your own, you should talk to an attorney about your case. You can search LawInfo’s legal directory to find a local auto accident attorney to discuss the merits of your case. This one step can level the playing field, help you protect your rights, and put you in the best position for recovering the compensation that you deserve.
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