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Six Things to Avoid Saying after a Car Accident

Posted on in Personal Injury

California car accident lawyer, California injury attorneyBeing in a car accident can be a jarring. It is also something that most people do not have a lot of experience handling. People are often uninformed about how best to conduct themselves after an accident and what it takes to prevail in a lawsuit. Some drivers may rush to assign fault - either to someone else or to themselves. Others may try to resolve all issues of damage at the scene.

As attorneys, we can say that none of these are good ideas. Typically, the best thing to do after an accident is to address your injuries with a doctor, comply with law enforcement, and avoid giving your opinion or saying extraneous statements.

These are some common things that get said after an accident that could make your case more difficult even though you were not at fault:

  1. Assigning fault. Do not say that it was your fault or partially your fault. Also, do not try to say that another driver was at fault. Experts such as police, insurance adjustors, and accident reconstruction professionals will decide who is at fault based on a range of factors that many lay people may not be aware of.
  2. “I’m sorry.” Some people say this out of nervousness or anxiety. You could mean it as a passing expression of care or concern. However, some people will use this phrase against you later to try to prove you knew you were in the wrong.
  3. “I feel fine.” It is important to not take an immediate position on the injuries you may have sustained. Even if you are in a minor accident, you can still suffer from injuries. Most people are in a state of shock after the accident and may not be able to feel pain. Other injuries, such as whiplash, take time to appear. Depending on your injuries, the best answer to this question at the scene of the accident may be “I’m not sure yet.”
  4. Guessing about facts of the accident. Some people feel like they need to have all the answers when being interviewed by police. It is always okay to tell someone that you cannot recall or do not know the answer they are looking for. You are not expected to know everything about the accident. Do not guess about how fast you were going or the arrangement of the cars prior to the accident unless you are sure.
  5. “Don’t worry about it.” This is another phrase people use out of nervousness. Always exchange information with the other driver even if you feel fine and your car is not damaged.
  6. Settlement talks. Do not offer to pay money at the accident scene. Also, if you have been in a serious accident, do not accept an insurance company settlement offer without speaking to an attorney.

Contact a San Jose, CA Car Crash Attorney

Retaining an attorney is often a necessary step to getting the compensation you deserve and protecting your claim from allegations that you are at fault. An attorney understands the complexities of traffic law, accident reports, medical diagnosis. and treatments and will see to it that you are adequately compensated. Contact the skilled San Jose auto collision lawyers at the Jachimowicz Law Group at 408-246-5500 to learn more about what an attorney thinks of your case for free.

 

Sources:

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/07/16/the-one-thing-you-should-never-say-following-a-car-accident/

http://www.insure.com/general-insurance/words-not-to-say.html

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