Posted in Car Accidents on July 1, 2021
Getting into a vehicle accident can be a terrifying experience for every party involved. In the immediate aftermath of a crash, and in the days and weeks to follow, crash victims will be expected to talk to various parties about the incident. This includes law enforcement officials, insurance carriers, and maybe even attorneys. However, there are some things that crash victims should not say after an incident occurs. Here, we want to discuss a few different statements that any person involved in an accident should absolutely not tell other parties aside from their own attorney.
Under no circumstances should you accept fault outright after a vehicle accident occurs. Even if you are absolutely certain that you caused the crash, do not go out and say that you were at fault or that you are sorry. The reality is that there are often times when individuals involved in accidents do not know the full circumstances surrounding the incident. It is entirely possible that other parties involved shared some of the blame. However, when you start making statements admitting fault, it is very difficult to walk this back at a later date, even if it is determined that another party shared some of the blame.
You do not have to lie about the incident, but you should say as little as possible until you receive all of the facts surrounding the incident.
It is very common for individuals to say they are not in any pain or that they sustained no injuries after a crash occurred. The reality is that the signs and symptoms of many accident injuries do not develop until hours or even days after a crash occurs. When our bodies experience sudden trauma, they release adrenaline that can cover up much of the pain that we would otherwise be feeling.
Even a statement as simple as “I’m fine,” when speaking to an insurance carrier could lead them to use those words against you by saying that you or not really injured. You need to avoid saying anything definitive about your injuries when speaking to insurance claims adjusters. You need to make sure that you see a medical professional very soon after a crash occurs so they can fully evaluate your situation.
Insurance claims adjusters will usually ask you to provide a recorded statement about the accident. Please understand that this is not mandatory. You should not comply with giving a recorded statement before you speak to an attorney. Insurance carriers are very good at what they do, which is to try and limit how much money they pay you in a settlement. They may ask questions designed to try and get you to slip up and admit that your injuries or the accident are not as serious as originally claimed.
When you are making any kind of statement about the accident, never make assumptions or guesses. If you do not know an answer to a question you are asked, it is better just to say you do not know. For example, if you are not sure how fast you were going when the crash occurred, just say you do not know. If you say that you think you were going 35 mph, this “guess” you made could be used to discredit your statement altogether. An insurance carrier could say that you are simply unaware of the facts surrounding the case, and try to imply that every statement you made is also incorrect or an assumption.
It can be very tempting to accept early settlement offers from insurance carriers, particularly if you are struggling financially because of medical bills or lost income caused by the crash. However, insurance carriers typically offer low settlements in an effort to get crash victims to sign off on less money than they would otherwise receive if they pursued their case. First offers are typically only the starting point in negotiations. Individuals involved in a crash should not accept first settlement offers, and they need to speak to a skilled attorney who can handle these negotiations on their behalf.
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