Mind Your Words: What Not to Say After a Car Accident
For most drivers, getting into a car accident can be an overwhelming and even scary ordeal. If you are involved in a car accident, however, it’s important to know what to say and what not to say so as to receive the compensation you deserve.
Unknowingly saying the wrong thing following a car accident can result in legal implications that might hold you liable for the accident or defeat your claim for compensation. On the other hand, knowing the right questions to ask and what to do after a car accident will help put you in the best position possible to get the settlement you deserve.
Don’t let the aftermath of a car accident put you in more legal heartache than necessary. At the Kohn Law Firm, our team of experienced paralegals, investigators, and attorneys will work with you to seek the compensation you deserve.
If you are ever involved in a car accident, keep these helpful tips in mind so that you know what to say and what not to say after a car accident.
Here’s What Not to Say after a Car Accident
Knowing what not to say after a car accident is critical, especially if legal action takes place later down the road. Keep these helpful tips in mind so that you can situate yourself in the best position possible to receive the settlement you deserve.
While it’s human nature to feel empathy and be apologetic after an unfortunate event, choose your words carefully after being involved in a car accident. Innocent words like “I’m sorry” can be used against you to show that you are admitting fault for the accident.
Instead, try to show empathy in ways that don’t involve compromising yourself in the event legal action ensues. This can be done by asking questions like, “Are you okay?” “Is everyone in the car okay?” and “Do you need medical help?” These are all ways you can show empathy and concern without unintentionally implicating yourself whether or not you are at fault.
“I Don’t Need a Doctor”
If you have been involved in a car accident and were injured, it’s important to receive medical attention right away. Even if you do not feel that you need it, there could be internal injuries or sore muscles that might be masked by your adrenaline following a crash. If your injury results in pain or medical treatment down the line, having a documented record of medical professionals arriving and treating you at the car accident scene can prove invaluable as well.
“We Don’t Have to Get the Police Involved”
For many drivers, small fender benders, even the ones that leave no damage at all, might not be cause for alarm. Some drivers might be compelled to say “No, I don’t think we have to get the police involved.” Unfortunately, some bad-faith actors might use this against you down the road.
As a general rule of thumb, you should always contact the police following a car accident no matter how minor the collision. Involving the police ensures that a police report is written up. This police report can be referred to later on by insurance companies, and even lawyers, if there are disputes about the claim. More importantly, police reports keep at-fault parties from changing their story or trying to deny fault where they might have previously agreed to it.
By law, the police must be called after any injury accident. If only property damage was involved, you can exchange information and report the crash to the DMV without calling the police. However, as noted above, it is not always easy to know if you have been injured immediately after a crash.
Be Careful How You Throw Around the Word “ Yes”
There are a few times when you need to watch your words carefully, and being involved in a car accident is one of those times. Be careful of how you answer questions the other party asks of you. This is especially the case when dealing with insurance companies. Things you should never say yes to include permission to be audio recorded by an insurance company, permission to offer up a recorded statement of the accident, or acquiescence to sign a settlement agreement. Once you’ve agreed yes to an insurance company’s claim, it can be very difficult if not impossible to walk that yes back.
Do Not Post on Social Media
For many drivers nowadays, it’s become therapeutic and almost reflexive to post on social media about an experience following a car accident. If you have gotten into a car accident, it’s important that you do not post about the accident online. Any information pertaining to a car accident that you post online can be used against you by the other party.
What You Should Say Following a Car Accident
Besides knowing what not to say, it’s just as important to know what to say after being involved in a car accident. Keep these tips in mind so that you cover all the necessary bases.
“I’ll Go Ahead and Call the Police”
It’s important to contact police officers following a car accident. It does not matter which party contacts the police; however, if you feel that the other party is likely to skew the information when contacting authorities, you can contact the police on your own as well. In all car accident situations, it’s best practice to be the individual who takes the initiative to contact the authorities. Once the police arrive, follow up on information about obtaining a copy of the police report.
“Let’s Swap Insurance Information”
Following a car accident, it’s imperative to swap insurance information with the other individuals involved, whether it’s one driver or several. After you’ve swapped insurance information, you must contact your insurance as soon as you can to file a claim. Some insurance policies may actually consider it a violation if you do not contact them about a car accident.
“Do You Need Medical Assistance?”
After a car accident, ask the involved parties whether or not they need medical attention. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it shows that you are taking the initiative to make sure everyone at the scene is okay.
When to Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident
If your car accident resulted in injury or property loss for you or another driver, it’s important to understand your rights and options. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the nuances after an automotive accident.
The experienced team at Kohn Law Firm can help you understand your options. Contact us today for a free consultation after a car accident in The Bronx.