After you’ve been in a Kansas City car accident, it’s normal to feel shaky and scared. You might be wondering if anyone was injured, the damage will be covered by insurance, or the accident is somehow your fault. But it’s important to stay level-headed and take your time in answering questions. And if you’re able to, immediately contact a car accident lawyer who can advise you on how to protect your legal rights.
11 Things You Should Never Say After an Accident, According to Car Accident Lawyers
1. I Think…
You will be asked many different questions by many different people after an accident. Those who may interview you include:
- Your insurance company
- The policy
- The other driver’s insurance company
- Your own attorney
Every answer you give should be based on fact, not opinion. Avoid speculating or approximating, especially if you’re unsure about an answer. False information, even if given in the best of faith, can make you seem unreliable and/or your account of events seem inaccurate. And either of these situations can jeopardize your legal claim. If you’re unsure as to how a certain question should be answered, simply say, “I don’t know.”
2. I Accept
If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you with a settlement offer, never say, “I accept.” This settlement usually represents the very minimum your case is worth, and the insurance company wants you to settle as quickly as possible so they don’t have to pay more money. You may be tempted to do so for a rapid influx of cash, but this is rarely in your best interest.
Instead, you want to consult with an attorney in Kansas City. He or she will advocate on your behalf and identify the true value of your claim by calculating medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Saying “I accept” before you make this consultation is likely to cheat you out of the fair settlement you deserve.
3. I Don’t Have an Attorney
4. I’m Not Hurt or Injured
Car accident claims are almost entirely based on the injuries you sustain. But these injuries don’t necessarily show immediately. To illustrate, traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, and other invisible conditions may not appear until days or weeks after the accident.
With this in mind, you shouldn’t comment on your injuries immediately following an accident. Saying you’re not hurt can harm your legal claim further down the road. Also, avoid discussing the accident and your condition on social media platforms. Insurance companies often scout these platforms and use claimants’ words against them in court. Last but not least, seek medical attention immediately after the accident and if new symptoms appear.
5. I’ll Pay the Expense
6. I Apologize
7. I Was Distracted
8. That Was My Fault
The bottom line is that admitting to an accident before you consult with an attorney can affect your claim. You may be falsely accepting blame and, in addition, could be at risk for receiving a traffic ticket.
9. I Didn’t See You There
10. This Is My Official Statement
As mentioned earlier, a number of different questions will be hurled at you after a car accident. Driver and witness reports will both be taken and later used by attorneys in the discovery process. But your account of the accident is different from your official statement, and the two shouldn’t be confused.
Any official statement you provide will be used in all future proceedings. It’s best to prepare this with a Kansas City lawyer to ensure accuracy; you don’t want to omit important details, but neither do you want to inadvertently incriminate yourself.
11. We Don’t Need to Call the Police
Regardless of those events that caused the accident, it’s crucial you call the police so a report can be filed. Without their presence, proof the accident happened will be nearly non-existent. This leaves room for changing stories and disputes after you file your claim.
On the other hand, a police report on file will speed up the claims process and establish a record of events. This becomes especially important if you sustain long-term injuries or cannot repair your vehicle because of extensive damage.
Car accidents are stressful situations that can prompt you to say things you don’t mean or later regret. Keep in mind your words in those early moments can significantly impact the outcome of your case. It’s therefore best to avoid the phrases listed here and stick only to the facts. And let our experienced team of attorneys fight on your behalf. Receive a free case review by contacting Potts Law Firm today.