Getting into a car accident can be nerve-wracking. At a time when emotions are running high and you don’t know what to do, you may feel the urge to give a statement to the other driver, witnesses, or to the police. However, before you say anything here’s what you need to know about giving a statement after a car accident.
What Not to Do After an Accident
1. Apologize or Admit Guilt
Do not apologize or admit guilt for the collision. It’s natural to feel you should apologize to the other party, as you may be overwhelmed and not thinking logically. However, once you admit guilt, you can be held liable for damages. Whether or not it is evident that the accident was your fault, you should never admit fault. You will likely be pressured by the other party, as well as his or her insurance, to admit responsibility, but it is important that you don’t risk the chance of forfeiting compensation.
2. Lie to Law Enforcement
If officers respond to the scene of the accident, it is important that you do not admit fault to them. This is not to say that you should lie as you should never lie to law enforcement. There is, however, a difference between lying and self-incrimination. Do not incriminate yourself.
3. Engage in Small Talk with the Insurance Adjuster
If neither party admits fault, it is likely that insurance adjusters will conduct their own investigation. Insurance adjusters will look into any statements the drivers made to the officers on the scene or to one another. If possible, avoid talking to any adjusters, but if you must, only tell them what you told the arriving officer on the scene. Do not agree to giving a recorded statement.
What to Do After an Accident
1. Stay Calm
When involved in a car accident, it can be easy to panic or let your emotions get the best of you. However, it’s important to do your best to remain calm so you can process the situation and make decisions that are best for you.
2. Collect Information and Capture Evidence
The longer that someone goes without documenting evidence, the more difficult it usually becomes to accurately recall. For this reason you may want to keep a pen and paper in your glove compartment, use your cell phone for pictures of the scene and the other driver’s insurance information, and obtain the names and numbers of any witnesses.
3. Write Down the Information of Your Passengers
After an accident it is important that you write down the names of any of the passengers in your car, as well as where they were sitting at the time of the crash and how they were injured.
4. Contact a Qualified Car Accident Attorney
After an accident, an experienced attorney can be a big help when it comes to filing a claim and negotiating with the insurance company. They will work to prove that the accident was caused by the other party and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Consult with a Qualified Accident Attorney
At Gauthier Amedee, our team of experienced car accident attorneys fights hard to protect the rights of those injured in car accidents due to the negligence or recklessness of another.