Stress and confusion are entirely normal following a car accident. However, it’s important to stay calm and think before you speak because everything you say can be used against you. Your words may cost you fines and penalties but also a lower settlement or no settlement.
A car accident attorney will advise you on what to say. Here are several things you should avoid saying after a car accident.
Apologies or Admissions of Guilt
If you see someone injured, you may feel empathetic and want to apologize. But drivers and insurance companies can twist your words into an admission of guilt.
Instead of apologizing, provide support and express empathy to the other driver by helping them through their situation. Tell them that you understand they are hurting and have called an ambulance. You can also ask if there is anything you can do to help, but avoid a blanket statement like “I’m sorry.”
In addition, when you say the accident was your fault, you admit liability. The facts might prove you did not cause the accident. But by making this statement, you risk the compensation you could recover. The police will investigate the accident to determine the cause without your admission.
Speculation About What Happened
After an accident, don’t guess what happened; only state facts. Recall everything you saw, heard, and felt. Don’t speculate about what or who caused the accident because it could be used against you later. A police investigation of the accident and eyewitness statements can help fill in the gaps.
“I’m Not Injured”
After an accident, everyone will ask if you’re hurt, including the other drivers, police, and EMTs. If you act bravely and try to ignore your pain, you risk being accused of exaggerating or faking your injuries.
Instead of saying you feel fine after a car accident, be honest and consistent. If something hurts, say so. If you feel nauseous or dizzy, tell the medical care team. Remember, even seemingly minor injuries could be major problems. A sore back might indicate a herniated disc. A sprained wrist could be a fracture. Some injuries take time to develop, even if you feel fine immediately after the accident. Concussion symptoms might take days or even weeks to emerge.
“I Don’t Have an Attorney”
It’s your choice whether or not to hire an attorney, but don’t say that to the other driver. The insurance company will use this against you and offer you a settlement that won’t cover your expenses. Their offer might be lower because they know you have no legal advice to refute it. If you don’t have an attorney, say that you are considering several representation options. Most lawyers offer a free consultation before taking your case, so take advantage of this option.
Contact The Snyder Law Group Today
The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, or call us at 410-843-3476, for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.