When discussing an accident in which you were injured, what you say and who you say it to are important because this may have a direct impact on the outcome of your case for compensation.
You should watch what you say to the police and other first responders at the scene no matter what, but you should strongly consider having an attorney on your side before you speak to the insurance company.
Our South Bend auto accident attorneys are prepared to help you through the process of filing a claim and provide legal advice on what you should and should not say about the crash. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.
Should I Talk to the Other Driver Involved in the Crash?
In most cases, you should speak to the other driver involved in the crash to at least gather the person’s contact and insurance information for when you file a claim. When you speak to the other driver, it is important that you do not say anything that could be viewed as an admission of fault for the crash.
Some of the things you should try to avoid saying to another driver after a crash include:
- “I did not see you.”
- “I was on the phone.”
- “I should not have been speeding.”
- “I know I did not use my turn signal.”
While getting hit by another driver who was acting in a negligent manner may be frustrating, it is also important to try and remain calm when talking to him or her.
If the other driver involved in the crash is the aggressive one or becomes agitated, it may be in your best interest to get away from the driver and just dial 9-1-1.
What Should I Say to the Police After an Accident?
Once the police arrive at the scene of the crash, be sure to stick to the facts of what happened and try to avoid making any assumptions. You need to be careful not to admit fault for the crash.
In cases when fault for a crash is clear, speaking to a police officer as the victim may be easier. However, not all situations have a clearly-defined liable party, so questions you do not feel comfortable answering should be answered in the presence of your attorney. Do not be rude to the police officer, but simply tell him or her that you will wait to answer said question once you have obtained legal counsel. This does not mean you caused the crash, or that you can be held liable for the damages. It is just a way to cover your bases until your lawyer can help you clear up any potential misconceptions.
Should I Ask for Medical Attention at the Scene of the Crash?
Some accident victims may not experience immediate pain or discomfort from an injury at the scene of a crash, and therefore will reject any medical attention. However, this may not be a good idea.
Although you might not need to be carried off to the hospital in an ambulance, you should agree to be seen by a medical professional for a preliminary evaluation in case you suffered hidden injuries that could manifest into more serious problems down the road.
When you are being treated at the scene, do not exaggerate your pain or potential injuries, as this could come back to haunt you if medical attention in the future does not provide evidence to back up your initial complaints. While this may not prevent you from getting compensation, it could damage your credibility as an injury victim.
Just as when you speak to the police officer at the scene, stick to the facts. Answer questions from the first responders at the scene as honestly as possible.
What Should I Say to the Insurance Company When Filing a Claim?
Before you speak to the insurance company, it may be a good idea to speak to an attorney first. This way, you can have some legal advice on how to respond to questions or what statements to make to the insurance company.
Anything you say to the insurance company may be used against you in the future, especially if you file a lawsuit.
Speak to an Attorney. Call Us Today
If you need help filing an injury claim for an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions, call our knowledgeable attorneys today.
We offer a free consultation and there are no fees unless we win.
Call (844) 678-1800 to learn more.