You may have been 100 percent in the right in your car accident. Or you may have contributed to it. Either way, it is important to watch what you say after the accident and in the days that follow.
This is hard stuff. Auto accidents are upsetting and emotional. It is hard at such times to be guarded about what we say. But for the sake of your recovery and your family's finances, you would be wise to keep a lid on your feelings.
Avoid these common mistakes:
It is the most natural thing in the world to be apologetic after colliding with someone. But "I'm sorry," which you mean as "I'm so sorry this happened" will be interpreted as "I'm sorry, this is all my fault!"
You were just saying what a caring person says. But a witness may overhear the remark and it may go into the police report, or the claims adjuster will pick it up and use it against you.
Consider saying "Are you OK?" instead.
Even if you think, at first blush, that you may have caused the accident, "I'm sorry" is the wrong thing to say. You don't know what happened yet. Only a third-party reconstructionist can establish that. So hold off on apologizing or taking responsibility.
When the police arrive, they will want to hear your story, the other driver's story and the stories of witnesses. There is a temptation to become defensive and interrupt the others, because they are getting the facts wrong.
Relax, if you can. Police know that every account will be different. Let each party talk to the police. If you interrupt, you will annoy people, and the police may think you are oppositional - and zone you out.
In short: Be polite. Tell the truth about what you saw happen. Don't start arguments. Don't confess to anything. Don't hurt your case by saying the wrong things.
When you tell us your story at The Keating Firm LTD., you can say whatever you like. From that point on, let us do your talking for you!
Call attorney Brad Keating at his Gahanna offices at 844-333-7243, toll free 866-836-HURT (4878) or describe your injury to our lawyers using this online form.