Phrases you Should Never Say After a Car Accident
Involved in a Car Accident? Know What & What Not to Say
A car accident is scary, confusing and life changing. The moments just afterwards are crucial to the entire claim, including auto repair work and any injuries you may sustain now or later down the road. Although you may be shaken up, the things you say to any other persons involved and law enforcement have a huge impact on your claim process and future settlement you may be entitled to. If you do not have an attorney on speed dial, follow our Personal Injury Lawyer tips on what you should never say following a car accident, no matter the severity, to police officers, the insurance company or the other parties involved.
5 Things Not to Say Post-Car Accident
“I’m Not Hurt”
Never assume you are not injured because you have no visible markings, cuts or “feel” fine. Your body is still in shock from the accident and many injuries, especially traumatic head injuries, take days or even weeks to start showing symptoms. If the police ask if you’d like to be seen by an EMT say yes. If no medical personnel arrive on the scene, bring yourself to an emergency room or your preferred doctor immediately after the accident has been cleared. This paperwork will prove to be vital in your case and any settlement you’re entitled to.
While it may seem like a harmless and instinctive reaction to any accident, whether it was your fault or not, but you MUST avoid saying I’m sorry. The other driver will take your kindness and use it against you to say you have admitted fault in the accident.
It is best to only speak to the other driver to ask if they are ok and to inform them you have called the local police. Leave all other communication between yourself and police/medical personnel.
“That was My Fault”
Again, do not admit fault! Allow the police, insurance companies and your auto accident lawyer to conduct a complete and thorough investigation and properly place blame. Don’t tamper with the investigation before it has started by admitting that anything was your fault.
Other admissions of fault include: “I should have been paying more attention” or “I didn’t see you” – avoid these phrases in the presence of the police, other driver, witnesses and insurance representatives.
The police will want to speak with you in the moments after the accident, but if you’re not 100% clear about the details surrounding the accident it is best to simply say “I don’t know.” Give yourself time to calm down and reflect on what has happened. You want to make sure your official statement is clear, conscious and accurate.
Insurance companies are known to offer the minimum value your claim is worth in order to settle as quickly as possible. Do not accept any settlement offer without speaking to a personal injury law firm first.
Hire a Personal Injury & Accident Lawyer Immediately
With a professional team of personal injury and accident lawyers on your side you can be sure to get the settlement you deserve. If you’re skeptical, read the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer to make your decision a bit easier. At J. Fine Law in Philadelphia, PA, we have over 25 years of experience in auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home abuse, trip & fall cases and much more. Call 1-800-HURT-123 for a free case evaluation today. For more information, review our Personal Injury FAQ page which highlights questions to ask your personal injury attorney during your consultation.