n the confusing and stressful moments following a car accident, it is difficult to think about your next steps with a clear mind.
Naturally, your first concern should be your health and any injuries, and then the health and wellbeing of others.
In addition, it is important to keep in mind you may end up in court as a result of the accident, either as a defendant or plaintiff. You must ensure nothing you say or do jeopardizes your potential case.
What if I have no interest in taking the case to court?
You may have no intention of bringing any type of legal action against the other party. However, this may change as events develop further. The damages to your vehicle may be more substantial than you realize, and/or your injuries might be more serious than they appear at first glance.
There is always a chance the other party will sue you. In either instance, you will want the facts on your side.
Let’s discuss a few things you should NEVER do after an accident.
1- Don’t apologize or admit fault.
Apologizing after an accident, regardless of our fault, is a tough habit to break. It comes from the natural desire to be polite and open with the other person. However, in legal negotiations, your apology may be construed as an admission of guilt.
Even if you believe you are at fault in an accident, it is still better to avoid apologizing. The true blame may fall on the other party once all of the facts are considered, so it’s dangerous to assume responsibility and jeopardize your case.
This may have a negative impact on your insurance proceedings even if you don’t go to court. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
2- Avoid discussing your injuries or saying that you are okay.
Unless you are seriously injured, it is better to avoid discussing your injuries at the scene of an accident until they are evaluated by a medical expert.
The adrenaline boost and shock of an accident will often mask the severity of harm. Injuries such as whiplash, concussions, or internal bleeding may not become apparent until much later.
Avoid making any claims beyond a need for immediate medical attention until you are able to fully assess the extent of your injuries. Otherwise, your statements may be used against you in court to discredit an injury claim.
3- Don’t discuss details or potential causes of the accident.
This is in line with the earlier point about limiting your future claims. At the moment, you don’t have all the information you need to make a clear assessment of the cause or conditions contributing to the addition.
Speculation on your end to the other party or even to bystanders could influence their testimony later in court. Again, you don’t want statements made at the scene to discredit assertions you make in court.
Hold off on any assessment and focus only on objective facts.
Get the legal advice you need:
Navigating your legal options after a car crash is daunting. That’s why you need a competent legal expert to aid you throughout the process and ensure you receive the justice and restitution you are owed.
The attorneys at Hoffspiegel Law are your expert legal advocate for car crashes and other personal injury issues.