What NOT to Say at the Scene of An Accident
Accidents are more common than you think. On average, a person will get into at least four car accidents throughout their life. Immediately following car crash, there is bound to be chaos and uncertainty.
How Your Words May Impact Your Personal Injury Claim
It may hard to think straight after a car accident, but saying the wrong thing after a car accident can potentially jeopardize your future personal injury claim and your chances of receiving fair compensation for any damages.
By avoiding certain phrases, statements, or words you have a better chance of a successful personal injury claim.
What You Should NOT Do or Say at the Scene of an Accident
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can seem like a chore. You must exchange information with the other driver, may need to speak with a police officer, and communicate with your insurance company, but you need to remember to approach these interactions with mindfulness. The last thing you want to happen is to have your words come back and harm your personal injury claim.
This is the one time to not use your manners—of course, you should not be rude, but this is not the time to say, “I’m sorry.”
We know the chaos after a car accident can leave one frazzled, and even if you are the victim the first thing that might rush out of your mouth is—I’m sorry. This can be viewed as an admission of guilt. Why else would you say you were sorry if you did not cause the accident? The other driver or your insurance may use this against you
Florida also uses a comparative negligence system, so even if you did not cause the accident, the other driver can still try to recover a percentage of damages from you.
Never Say It Was Your Fault
This goes hand-in-hand with saying you are sorry. People often say things they do not mean in awkward situations to ease the tension. Never try to make it feel like you contributed to the fault in any way.
Never Say You Are Not Hurt
If you are lucky enough to walk away from an accident and handle talking with the other driver and the police that does not mean you are not hurt.
Accident injuries can take hours or days to reveal themselves and oftentimes people are running on adrenaline and initially feel okay until they come down from the high. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car crash, especially if you wish to file a personal injury claim.
If you admit to anyone at the scene that you are not hurt, that will lead the other driver and police to feel you are, in fact, okay…and when you do start to feel hurt, they or insurance may try to use your past statements against you.
Never Give An Official Statement
You should never speculate about the accident or give an official statement. Both of these can be used in a narrative that may be different than what happened but is now impossible to take back or clear from the records.
Leave what you think happened during the accident to the experts or your lawyer. Less can be more depending on the specifics of your case.
What You SHOULD Do at The Scene of an Accident
After an accident occurs, you need to make your health and safety a priority—and any other passenger(s) in your vehicle. As long as you are not hurt too badly and need emergency medical attention, try to be as proactive as possible.
Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention at the scene or soon after an accident is crucial—even if you do not feel injured. Whiplash, concussions, and joint pain often do not surface until well after an accident. To successfully seek compensation later it will need to be documented and shown that injuries were due to the crash.
Call The Police
The police will write a report and interview any potential witnesses. This report can help you and your lawyer show you were not at fault.
Take Photographs and Gather Witness Information
At the accident scene, it’s best to do your due diligence by photographing the scene and gathering witness names, if possible.
Call Your Insurance Company
After seeking medical attention and getting all the information you can about the accident, you’ll want to let your insurance company know there has been an accident. This may be done at the scene or soon after. Be mindful of what you say as you do not want your words to be used against you late.
Let Our Car Crash Attorneys Do the Talking
We understand an accident is not something anyone wants to go through or even think about. But it is best to be prepared should the time come. Remember to be very mindful about what you say and try not to come across as sorry or apologetic at the scene. You do not have to be rude, but once the personal information and insurance information has been exchanged you do not need to say anymore.
Following your car accident, immediately consult one of our personal injury attorneys who understand the Florida law inside and out. Contact us for a free consultation. You can trust our experienced injury lawyers to do the talking for you.