Car accidents are far more common than you think.
It might not seem like much, but the average person will get into a total of at least four accidents throughout their lifetime.
And those accidents are often chaotic, even if they are just minor fender benders.
After the wreck, you will likely be frazzled, shaken up, or in shock.
It'll be hard for you to think straight and make logical decisions.
That's why you must know ahead of time what to do, and maybe more importantly, what not to do after a car accident.
Even more important is knowing what not to say.
Saying the wrong thing after a car accident jeopardizes your right to damages or compensation that's rightfully yours.
Ruining your chances for fair compensation is the last thing you want to do after a car wreck.
When deciding who was at fault for the accident, statements made by the drivers to one another, witnesses, or the police are among the most significant forms of evidence.
That's why it's important to say as little as possible following a wreck.
Always speak with an attorney before saying too much to anyone else.
It can be hard to bite your tongue on certain statements, but it's essential to remain quiet.
In the article below, we will go over a few things you shouldn't say after being involved in a car accident.
Table of Contents
- I'm Sorry
- I'm Not Hurt
- I Accept
- This Is My Official Statement
- This Is My Fault
- I Think
- Don't Say Anything
Completely eliminate the word "sorry" from your vocabulary after a car wreck.
Saying sorry after a wreck could be taken as an admission of guilt, and it will likely be used against you down the road, even if you weren't at fault.
It's a tough habit to break for some, but you must avoid apologizing at the scene of an accident.
Even saying you're sorry to someone who wasn't involved in the accident can be used against you.
For example, even apologizing to someone for creating a traffic jam and making them late for work can be used against you.
Someone close by may think you are apologizing for the accident, and therefore at fault.
The best thing you can do is avoid saying sorry at all, for any reason.
I'm Not Hurt
Car accidents send your body into overdrive.
The shock of the wreck sends adrenaline rushing through your system.
The adrenaline will mask any pains, injuries, or aches that you will eventually feel as a result of the accident.
Just because you feel fine initially, how you feel the next morning might be completely different.
This still causes drivers to assure one another that they're okay.
It's okay to tell someone that you don't need emergency services called, but you shouldn't tell someone you aren't hurt.
The main reason is that you very well might be.
Auto accident injuries can take hours or days to reveal themselves.
If you feel perfectly fine after your accident, you should still visit a doctor or chiropractor before making a final judgment on your well-being.
If you're involved in an accident where you were not at fault, the other driver's insurance company may contact you with a settlement offer.
The first settlement they offer you represents the absolute minimum that your claim is worth.
The insurance companies are a business trying to make a profit, so they want to settle the claim as quickly as possible for as little as possible.
That course of action is rarely in your best interest.
Don't ever accept the first claim immediately.
You may have medical expenses that will come up throughout your recovery or other unforeseen expenses.
You should always consult with a personal injury lawyer to make sure you receive a fair settlement.
This Is My Official Statement
You're going to be asked a lot of questions after an accident.
Driver and witness reports are the primary records taken after an accident and are essential to the claims process.
But your official statement should be different than your on-the-scene account.
Once you give your official statement to your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company, it will be used in all future proceedings.
That's why you should prepare your statement with your attorney to ensure nothing is left out, or nothing is included that can be used against you.
Navigating the accident recovery process is complicated and intimidating, especially if you are healing from injuries or dealing with significant property damage.
An experienced car accident attorney will simplify the process for you to ensure that you get the compensation you need.
Seek legal representation as soon as possible in your auto accident claims process to avoid other pitfalls that can arise as you pursue a settlement.
If you're ever in doubt about whether or not you speak about your accident, consult with your lawyer, or hold your tongue.
It's best not to say anything, and let your attorney handle all of it.
This Is My Fault
This seems like a no brainer, but you also need to avoid admitting fault for the accident.
When describing the accident, do it straightforwardly without adding any personal opinions into the mix.
This allows the insurance companies to work it out and determine who was at fault.
Even if you think you are at fault, other factors could put at least some of the fault on the other driver.
Even if you're being blamed for the accident, don't accept the blame.
This is another situation where it's best to say nothing.
You'll learn more about the accident and whose fault it was by listening to what they say without responding.
Again, even if everything points to the accident being your fault, the other driver may have played a role in the accident as well.
Always avoid claiming fault in front of the other driver, witnesses, your insurance company, or the police.
If you aren't sure about something, don't say anything about it.
It's better to say that you don't know than to say that "you think" you know something.
Don't estimate or try to guess the answer, either.
This applies to anything related to your accident, such as the speed you were traveling, the speed the other driver was going, distance assumptions, and other estimates.
Always say you don't know rather than answering a question by guessing.
Don't Say anything
Auto accidents can be shocking and scary and always unexpected.
However, you can still be prepared if one were to happen.
In the moments following an accident, it can be easy to get flustered and say something you didn't mean.
That's why it's important to know what not to say.
The above are common phrases that you should avoid saying after an accident.
Avoiding these statements can help secure your legal options later on.
There are things you need to do after a car wreck, like exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver.
But, a good rule of thumb is never to say anything else until you've spoken to an attorney, and then let them do all the talking.
If you've been in an accident and need a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case, contact The Brown Firm at any time.
The Brown Firm has helped car accident victims get the compensation they deserve for years, and they are ready to help you today.
Click the button below to schedule your free consultation.