Protecting the Rights
of Injury Victims

Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

What not to say after a car accident

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | Auto Accident |

Being in a car accident is a distressing and stressful experience. You may be in shock both during the immediate aftermath of the car accident and for some time after.

Once the shock wears off, while you may be able to think more clearly, you may struggle with the pain of serious injuries and the emotional and financial problems that accompany a car accident. This can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed.

As you go through these situations, you are likely to be asked many questions by many different people. The police or emergency personnel will question you at the scene of the accident and investigators or insurance companies may question you at various stages after the accident.

What you say at the accident scene and during the insurance claim process can have a major impact on what you receive in compensation. Therefore, it is important to know what not to say.

Some of these are simple, everyday expressions, which is why you may find yourself saying them after an accident without realizing the repercussions.

I’m sorry

A common example is saying you are sorry. Apologizing is a common part of daily life and we often say we are sorry even when something is not our fault.

It is difficult to not apologize at least once after a car accident, even if you believe the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. However, apologies are almost always interpreted as admitting fault, which can be used against you in an insurance or personal injury claim.

Additionally, do not say anything that could be viewed as admitting fault. This means more than saying the accident was your fault. Statements that sound innocent to you, such as telling the other driver you did not see them or that you are tired that day, could be used against you.

I’m not hurt

Do not downplay your injuries or say you are not hurt. Many car accident injuries are not immediately apparent. Some do not show up for days, weeks or even months after the accident.

It is best to not discuss your injuries at all, including on social media. Obtain medical treatment as soon as you can after the accident and at the first sign of any other symptoms or injuries.

You cannot avoid speaking altogether. When you are asked questions you must answer, state what happened and be consistent with your answers. Do not lie.

I think

Avoid saying you “think” something happened. State it either did or did not. Do not give answers that are estimates or approximations.

These can be used to show that your version of what happened might not be accurate. If you do not know the answer to a question, simply say that you do not know.

When you file a personal injury claim, any compensation you receive is based on proving the other driver was negligent. This can be challenging, especially if the other driver claims you were totally or partially responsible for the accident.

Your chance of recovery increases if you have said and done the proper things after the accident.

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