Car accidents are scary and disorienting, but the steps you take afterward may make or break your case for compensation. Not only do you need to be mindful about calling the police or getting medical treatment, but you must be careful with the words you say.
The things you discuss and the terms you use with the other driver, witnesses, law enforcement, insurance agents and doctors have major implications on how much money you can receive for your injuries – if any. Here are some statements to avoid after a motor vehicle collision:
“I am sorry”
It is safe to say that no one wants to be in a car crash. This experience is inconvenient at all levels, and you may feel bad about the situation, even if it is not your fault. You may have an instinct to say something apologetic to be nice, but this politeness can backfire. If you say anything the driver or insurance company can interpret as admitting fault, you may lose your chance at a settlement.
“I am not hurt”
You may not notice any injuries right after the collision, but do not tell others you do not have injuries. Your adrenaline spikes right after a crash, which can mask injuries for several hours or days. On this note, even if you do not feel hurt, you should always see a doctor.
“My injuries are not that bad”
Once you see a doctor after the wreck, be straightforward about any symptoms you experience. Tell your doctor about any pain and soreness. Resist any temptation to downplay your injuries. Let your doctor examine and diagnose your injuries to the fullest extent.
Anything on social media
While you may want to update your friends and followers on your social media profiles, it is best to avoid this. Talk about the accident online can hurt your case. The insurance company may twist your online statements against you.