Things You Should Not Say After A Car Accident
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The only thing more disturbing than a car accident itself is dealing with the aftermath. People involved in a car accident are usually too baffled or upset to think straight and act rationally. If someone has incurred fatal injuries, they might not even be fully conscious to react or request help. However, if you are able to move and speak after the accident, you should be careful about what you say or do. The best strategy is to maintain calm and refrain from providing any official statement.
A top Personal Injury Attorney in New Jersey advises clients to abstain from saying any of the following post-accident:
1.) “I am Sorry”
No matter what the circumstances, do not say sorry, as it automatically puts the blame on you. In that moment, you probably do not even realize whose mistake caused the accident, so it is recommended to stay silent. When you see another person hurt in the accident, it is understandable to feel sorry and show your sympathy. Unfortunately, apologizing at the scene of the accident may give the wrong impression to spectators, witnesses, and law enforcement officials.
2.) “It’s my fault”
Whether the accident was your fault or not, do not accept any kind of liability for it. The accident may trigger panic and guilt even if you were only partially responsible. The other party may try to accuse you or say something to make you feel guilty. You must exercise patience and strength. Only provide to-the-point/neutral responses when the police interrogates.
3.) “I feel fine/I’m not hurt”
Car accident victims are high on adrenaline right after the incident, so they are often unable to feel physical pain or understand the extent of their injuries. If you find yourself mentally and physically sound after the crash, it is a good sign. However, you should not admit to being fine unless a professional medic confirms it. If you say something like this in the company of the police or insurance adjuster, you might lose the right to claim personal injury compensation.
4.) “I won’t see a doctor”
Regardless of how negligible the accident injuries seem, do not refuse medical attention. The medical examination following a car accident will help generate a medical report, which is a mandatory requirement for pursuing reimbursement of damages. If you lack medical evidence to prove your injuries, you don’t have a case.
5.) “I don’t want a lawyer”
Neither the perpetrator nor their insurance provider wants you to hire a lawyer. It makes their work so much easier when you openly declare that you won’t be hiring a professional car accident lawyer to deal with them. Insurance adjusters will take maximum advantage of your vulnerability and lack of knowledge about the claiming procedure. They might outright reject your claim or offer a settlement that will only cover a small fraction of the cost of your damages.
6.) Any statement that starts with ‘I Think’
If you are not sure about something, don’t say it. Guesses or misleading information will hurt your claim. It is integral to remain consistent with your previous account, and refrain from exaggerating any facts or figures. Uncertainty will make you look suspicious, and the give the insurance adjuster an opportunity to paint you as a liar or imposter.
An accident can leave you vulnerable physically, emotionally, and financially to companies and people that want to take advantage of you. Make sure to get a team on your side that will protect your best interests. Recently involved in a New Jersey Car Accident and don’t know what to do next? Call Richard Hollawell & Associates at 1-800-681-3550 or fill out our form for a free consultation on your case today.