What NOT to Say at the Scene of a Car Accident
Almost 400,000 drivers find themselves involved in a Florida car accident every year. Due to the prevalence of these accidents, most of us will likely be involved in one at some point in our lives. And unfortunately, it is also prevalent for people who have been involved in an accident to find themselves with unexpected injuries. Approximately 4.4 million Americans are injured annually after being involved in a car accident in a way that is serious enough to require medical attention. If you find yourself involved in an accident, it is important to recognize that there are certain things you should not say at the scene. Immediately after an accident, the stress and adrenaline that are typically triggered can make it difficult to accurately assess the situation. You don’t want to draw incorrect conclusions and publicly share thoughts based on them which can mean you say things that you will regret in the future. Speaking freely at the car accident scene may be tempting, but this is never a good idea and may work against you down the road.
Speaking With the Other Driver
While it is not realistic to expect that you won’t converse with the other driver at all while exchanging things like your insurance information, it is best to keep what you say to a minimum. For example, you should never accept or admit fault. Simply saying that you are “sorry” can be misconstrued as an admission of your guilt no matter what intent you had in stating it. This can unfortunately be true even if you say it to someone who wasn’t involved in the accident. In fact, you need to be mindful of what you say around any witnesses who are present at the scene as well as the other driver. If you later pursue a personal injury claim, these same people may later provide statements that can be used against you.
Speaking With the Officer
You should also aim to avoid appearing to claim fault when you are dealing with law enforcement. You should anticipate that a police officer will probably ask you about what happened in the moments leading up to the accident. If you can’t remember something or are unsure of a detail, don’t offer an explanation for this if it isn’t asked for – especially if your reasoning would be that you were distracted at the time of the accident. Try to describe the accident as matter-of-factly as possible and avoid including any personal opinions.
We Can Help You Make the Right Statements
We have all been in a situation where we said something we later questioned. If you are concerned about how something you said at the accident scene would affect the outcome of a claim you would like to file, or have other questions in general, you would likely benefit from the help of passionate and knowledgeable legal advocates. As the Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm, we understand that accident victims make mistakes and we believe that this alone shouldn’t force anyone to potentially miss the opportunity to protect their rights. You can depend on us to help you pursue the recovery you need and deserve. Contact us today to begin with a consultation that is without obligation and completely free of charge.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Miami, Ocala, Bradenton, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Miami and Daytona Beach areas.