When you’re dealing with something as serious as a motor vehicle
accident, especially where people were injured, what you do or do not
say after the crash can hold significant weight later on. If you are in
a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, make sure you are prepared to say
the right thing, ask the necessary questions, and avoid making any incriminating
After an accident,
never say the following:
Never say that you are unharmed after an accident. Even if you feel alright,
the adrenaline coursing through you after a traumatic event, like a car
accident, can mask very serious issues that you may not presently be aware
of. Always seek medical attention after an accident for a professional
opinion before you tell anyone that you are uninjured. If you claim to
be uninjured after the accident, and later find out you suffered whiplash
or some other injury, it could make it more difficult to seek compensation.
While it’s often human nature to apologize after something scary
or harmful happened, it is very important that you refrain from doing
so after an accident. If you apologize, the other person could interpret
your expression of sympathy as an admission of guilt, which could hold
weight in court. Even if you do think you are at fault, you can’t
be sure and should not admit to it until you’ve sought a professional
opinion. Your vehicle could have malfunctioned without you knowing it,
or some other factor could have been at play to cause the incident, not you.
It is perfectly fine to show compassion and care for others involved in
an accident, in fact, it is very good to do so, but never admit that it
was “okay.” By saying things are alright, it could be construed
as absolving the other parties of responsibility for the crash. While
it may seem callus, do not tell the other people involved that what happened
is okay, instead leave those decisions to your lawyer and the lawyer of
the other drivers involved.
What you should do in the case of an accident, is make sure everyone is
unharmed. Ask your passengers, the driver of the other vehicles involved,
other passengers, pedestrians, or anyone else involved in the accident.
You should make a point to see if anyone needs medical attention, and
if anyone seems harmed in any way, call 911. Not only is this the right
thing to do, it could also help your case.
Also, be sure to exchange information with the other parties involved,
as well as any witnesses and the officer who reported the accident. Write
down the name, contact information, insurance provider, and license plate
number of the other driver. Take down the name and contact information
of the witnesses, as well as a quick statement from each about what they
saw from the accident. Ask the officer who assisted you for his or her
badge number and name.
For more legal help following a motor vehicle crash, contact Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A..