A car accident can leave you feeling shaken and confused. You may speak without thinking or end up saying things that potentially have a greater impact than you realize. What is said immediately afterward at the scene of the crash could hurt your chances at pursing favorable compensation for your injuries.
The Green Bay car accident lawyers at our firm explain what you should avoid saying while dealing with the aftermath of an accident to help protect your claim. A consultation with us is free and confidential.
When Your Words Can Hurt You
Following a crash, your adrenaline levels may be high, and you may not be thinking clearly. The pain you experience from your injuries could also be impacting what you are thinking and saying out loud. It is not hard to say something in the moment that could hurt your claim and your settlement amount.
Offering an apology may come naturally to you. You may use little apologies to diffuse tense situations in your daily life. However, you should resist the urge to say, “I am sorry” or “I apologize” as this could be seen as admitting fault. While you may be sorry that the accident happened or that someone was injured, anyone at the scene could take these words as your admission of guilt for the crash.
Car accident settlements are almost always based on the injuries sustained. That is why it is also important to not minimize your injuries even if they appear minor. Avoid saying “I am OK” or “I feel fine” until you seek medical attention and have a doctor assess the extent of your injuries. He or she may even uncover a hidden injury you sustained.
The last thing you want is the insurance company saying that you have a pre-existing injury, your injuries are not as serious as you claim or not connected to the accident.
You May Be Wrong
You will not know all the facts about the car accident in that moment. If you make a statement about what happened, there is a chance that you may be wrong or mistaken. This could be especially true if you think that you may have caused the crash or did something that contributed to your injuries.
When speaking with any party involved, be sure to only offer information you are legally required to provide after an accident. This includes your name, address, phone number and insurance information. When being questioned by a responding police officer, offer only the basic facts about what happened.
Do not speculate about anything that may have happened or guess if you do not know the answer to a question being asked. Just say “I do not know” and avoid offering any additional information.
The bottom line is that what you say to anyone at the scene of the crash could be harder to refute later if you decide to make a claim and have to deal with an insurance adjuster.
Statements Can Be Twisted or Misunderstood
The scene of a crash can be chaotic and loud, making it harder to hear anything. A statement made by you may not be heard as you intended it, which could impact your potential claim for compensation.
If you speak with other party involved or an eyewitness, he or she may not hear you correctly and misconstrue what you said. A statement such as “I was not distracted” may be misheard as “I was distracted,” changing the entire meaning of what you said and making it seem like you are guilty.
Protect Your Claim for Compensation
It is important to be careful about what you say when you are involved in a car accident. Our lawyers at Sigman Janssen have helped pursue maximum compensation for our clients and are ready to guide you through the claims process. You may be eligible to obtain compensation to help cover your losses.
Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay any fees up front unless we recover funds for your claim.
Call (877) 888-5201 to schedule a free legal consultation.