Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience, but saying the wrong thing after the crash can make a bad situation even worse. Legally speaking, it is always advisable to be honest about what happened, but at the same time it is important not to say something that may potentially limit your ability to win a subsequent car accident lawsuit. Each accident is unique, however it will generally be in your best interest to follow the tips provided below regarding what not to say both at the scene of the accident and afterwards.
At the Scene of the Accident
Don’t say “I’m Sorry”: After car accidents many people are flustered and say “I’m sorry” to the other driver. Sometimes this apology is said because the driver is genuinely apologizing for causing the accident, and sometimes it is blurted out as nothing more than a social nicety. Regardless of whether or not you initially believe that the accident was your fault, make sure to keep the word “sorry” out of your vocabulary. This is important because an apology uttered at the scene of an accident may be used against you as an admission of guilt later on.
Don’t Admit Fault in Writing: This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how frequently it happens. Be sure not to put anything in writing that may even imply guilt or the appearance of admitting fault. For example, when exchanging information with the other driver don’t write down your name as “Joe Smith, the guy who hit you on the Fourth of July”.
Don’t Say Anything While the Police Officer is Interviewing Others: While the police are interviewing the other driver and/or witnesses, make sure not to say anything. You may be tempted to interrupt if you overhear someone lying to the police about what happened, but don’t do it. The best way to ensure that the responding police officer hears your side of the story is to wait your turn, be respectful, and honestly answer his or her questions.
After the Accident
Don’t Give an Insurance Company Permission to Access Your Medical Records: If you’ve been injured in an accident and subsequently file a claim with an insurance company, that company will likely ask you for permission to access your medical records. You may have to do this eventually, but don’t give your permission without first consulting with your lawyer.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement: It is common practice for insurance claim adjusters to ask car accident victims to give a recorded statement. Insurance companies frequently use these recorded statements later to discredit the person filing the claim. Therefore, it is important not to give a recorded statement when you are rushed, rattled from the accident, or have not had time to first consult with your lawyer.
Don’t Talk About the Accident on Social Media: These days people often use social media as a way to publicly air their grievances, but it is important not to post about your car accident. Refrain from posting about the accident or your injuries, and don’t use social media to reach out to the other driver or individuals who witnessed the crash.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Florida and would like to consult with a local car accident lawyer about your legal options, our firm is here to help. At Piccin & Glynn, Lawyers at Law, our lawyers are committed to fighting for our injured client’s rights and helping secure favorable settlements so that they can recover and move on with their lives. To schedule a free initial consultation contact our Ocala office today at 352-581-6174.