Getting into a car accident can change your life forever. Your car is expensive and getting the right repairs can take weeks or months. Car accident injuries can follow you even years after an accident.
The moments after your crash are critical. Saying or doing the wrong thing can potentially hurt your chances of getting you the right settlement. By following these tips, you’re sure to get every penny you deserve, so you can focus on your health and well-being.
In this article, we’ll share with you our expert advice on what not to say after a car accident, and some tips on how to handle this challenging experience.
What To Do After An Accident
You may not be able to think or speak clearly, but you can control your actions. If you’ve never been in a car accident before, you should avoid doing any of the following:
- Leave your car on the road or flee the scene.
- Attempt to clean up debris yourself.
- Be confrontational or rude.
- Ignore your injuries.
- Neglect to call the police.
- Admit fault.
After collecting the other driver’s information, call the police and they will help you navigate the situation from there. For the best possible turnout after a car accident, you should:
Identify and get contact info from all officers on the scene.
- Get a copy of your accident report.
- Take pictures of all damaged property and injuries from as many different angles.
- Document the accident by writing your initial thoughts and take pictures of your surroundings.
- Get contact information from the other driver, witnesses, and first responders.
Also Read: 6 Steps To Take After A Car Accident
7 Things Not To Say After An Accident
After a car accident, you’ll want to avoid any kind of confrontation with the other driver. You understandably will feel emotional and frustrated while speaking with the other driver, but it’s imperative you keep your cool.
When speaking with the other driver, your insurance company, a police officer, or any other witness, you should avoid making these common mistakes.
“It Was My Fault
The worst thing you can do after an accident is admit fault. Even if you believed that you caused the accident, do not admit fault. You could be falsely admitting to something that isn’t true. It’s hard to gather a complete picture of an accident immediately after the crash. And admitting fault can put a bias onto the police’s investigation before they’ve even conducted it!
Other common admissions of fault also include saying things like “I should’ve paid more attention,” or “I didn’t see you.” Avoiding discussions about the accident until you are completely level-headed helps you avoid unnecessary confusion and drama.
It’s almost instinctual to want to apologize after an accident, regardless of whether or not you caused it. Speaking with the other driver will feel tense, but avoid apologizing to diffuse the situation.
Apologies can be considered admissions of fault. If anyone is injured or seems hurt, as if they’re okay or if they need you to call an ambulance. However, there is no reason for you to say you’re sorry during this time.
“I’m Not Hurt”
Even if you don’t feel sore immediately after a car accident, you don’t know whether or not you’re actually hurt. Your adrenaline is running high, so you might feel sore right away. Car accident injuries will arise a few days after the initial crash. Always see a doctor immediately after any accident to ensure that you’re in good health.
Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions are some of the most common injuries you can sustain after an accident. These are invisible injuries that often don’t show until some time after a collision.
Saying you’re not hurt after a car accident can hurt your chances of getting compensation for any physical injuries you’ve sustained. If someone asks if you’re ok or if you’re hurt, be honest about your injuries or say you want to wait to talk to a doctor.
“I Think That . . .”
To avoid unclear, speculative, or false statements, wait until you have a clear head to talk about the accident. Write down some of your initial thoughts, but avoid mentioning anything you’re unclear about.
The police will speak with you about the accident. If they ask you a question you’re unsure about, just say “I don’t know.”
“This Is My Official Statement”
The police will take statements from all drivers and witnesses after the accident. As mentioned, try not to make any vague statements, and avoid talking about things you’re unsure about. Remember that your initial statement and your official statement are two different things.
After you’ve calmed down after your accident, write an official statement. Send this to your insurance company when you report the accident to them. Your official statement is used in all future proceedings, meaning your official statement needs to be clearly thought out.
Whether your or the other driver’s insurance company offers you a settlement offer, so not accept anything until you’ve discussed it with a lawyer. Most settlement offers represent the minimum value your claim is worth. Insurance companies will do this to settle the claim as quickly as possible rather than to truly cover everything you need it to.
Future medical issues can arise, you never know what can happen. Get a doctor to assess your injuries, then call a lawyer to help calculate what settlement your injuries truly deserve.
Also Read: The Myth Of Frivolous Lawsuits
When To Call A Lawyer After A Car Accident
Navigating car accidents can be a tense process, especially during the moments directly afterwards. The best way to make sure you say the right things and get the best settlement is to consult with a lawyer. After seeing your doctor, call a car accident lawyer.
A lawyer can tell you if your settlement does compensate for all your injuries. They can also help you draft any statements you need to give to the police or insurance company. To talk to a lawyer today, call My Case Helper.
Also Read: 12 Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer