There’s a car crash and then there is confusion. You get your car out of the road, you evaluate yourself for injuries, you make a call to a loved one. It’s only been a few minutes since your car accident. Now you are standing on the shoulder with your passengers, the other driver, and a police officer. Is there anything you shouldn’t say?
While it is always important to be honest when discussing your car accident, you may want to speak with a car accident attorney before speaking with the other people involved in your case, the police officer at the scene, and your insurance company. A car accident can be a traumatic, shocking, and confusing events and you do not want to say something at the spur of the moment that you wish you could take back later. Many drivers may feel the urge to explain the accident, apologize, or say something that they think may be comforting, but these statements can be mistakes from a legal standpoint.
Here are four things you should never say in the minutes and hours after a car accident:
• “I’m sorry.” You’ve always been taught to apologize when you’ve made a mistake or hurt someone – but you should absolutely not apologize for a car accident even if you believe that you were at fault. In the moments after a wreck, no one knows what caused the problem. The crash could have been caused by another driver, weather conditions, road design, or a mechanical error.
• “I wasn’t paying attention.” Again, it is part of human nature to take blame or make an explanation after an accident. Resist the urge. An investigation into the car accident by authorities will shed light on exactly why the collision occurred. Don’t try to be accountable for the accident just to solve the mystery of what happened.
• “I’m fine.” Directly after a car accident, you are far from the best person to evaluate your health and wellbeing. You may well be in shock – and you could also be feeling overwhelmed or even embarrassed. If an emergency responder believes you are injured and need assistance, believe them.
• “I’m not sure, but I think…” When speaking to authorities about your accident, you might feel the need to give them as much information as possible. But while it is extremely important to give police the facts of your accident, don’t be tempted to tell them information that you aren’t sure of. For example, if you aren’t positive of your speed, tell the officer that instead of estimating.
If you've been involved in a car accident in Virginia Beach or a surrounding city like Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Newport News, or Suffolk and need legal assistance, speak with one of our Virginia personal injury attorneys today about your wreck and your legal options.