The time immediately after a car wreck is a trying time. You will most likely enter into a state of shock, trying to figure out what has happened. The moments directly after an accident can set the tone for the entire process of filing your insurance claim and getting the money you need to move forward with your life. It is important to choose your words carefully, and not say anything than can hurt your claim in the future. Here are some tips for knowing what to say after a car wreck:
Do Not Apologize
Many people’s first reaction after a car wreck is to apologize to the other party that was involved in the accident, regardless of whose fault it was. People generally consider this a common courtesy to apologize, especially if the other driver is injured. This, however, will often be viewed as an admission of fault, and all the liability for the accident could be placed onto you. So even if you do believe you are the party that caused the wreck, do not apologize for the wreck.
After a wreck has occurred, you will give a statement to the police officer who is creating an accident report. This report will be given to your insurance company. They will ask about your speed, the speed of the other driver, road conditions, and many other factors that contributed to the accident. If you are not sure what the answer is to the questions they are asking, it is perfectly acceptable to say “I don’t know.” This answer is much better than trying to guess, and guessing incorrectly.
Don’t Make an Assessment of Your Own Health
Once you have filed a claim with your insurance or the insurance of the other person involved in the wreck, an adjuster will begin to contact you. They do this in order to settle the claim as cheaply as possible, and minimize the amount of money they wish to pay. Every question they ask is for their records. They will ask you how you feel. Do not give the standard answer “ok” or “I’m fine.” Insurance companies are not concerned with your well-being, only their bottom dollar, and they will use this statement against you.
Consult an Attorney
It is important to protect your rights after a wreck. Even if it seems straightforward, any accident can become extremely complicated. A Paducah car accident attorney can help you avoid the pitfalls that people often suffer from after an accident. If you want more information, contact Daryl T. Dixon Law. For a free copy of our book or to speak with an attorney, contact us now.