Even minor car accidents can leave you shaken and confused. The disruption caused by a collision may result in you thinking or saying things that could have more of an impact than you realize.
What you say after a car accident matters and can impact a future claim. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, our car accident attorneys can help you with your claim, even if you accidentally say one of the phrases below. Knowing what these are will help you protect your rights.
“It Was My Fault”
For some, this is common knowledge. However, it is smart to reiterate that you never need to admit fault. This means avoiding any phrase that could be mistaken as an admission of fault, including “I apologize,” “I’m sorry,” or “it was my fault.”
While you do not need to apologize to the other driver involved in the collision, you should avoid apologizing to anyone else related to the accident, too, such as the police, an insurance adjuster, and even witnesses.
Even if you are just being polite and stating you are sorry about the situation, the words can be used against you if you try to file a claim.
After an accident, several people will ask for a statement. The police may interview you, your insurance company, the other person’s insurance company, and your Connecticut car accident lawyer. In every situation, sticking to the facts is best.
Do not speculate or approximate your answers. False information can hurt your claim or make your account of what happened seem inaccurate and unreliable.
If you do not know the answer to a question you are being asked, say, “I do not know,” and do not try to elaborate.
Car accidents are often stressful and frightening. It is common to experience significant surges of adrenaline or go into shock. Unfortunately, reactions like this are designed to mask pain and make it seem like you were not injured.
When this happens, you may feel fine and be inclined to tell others this. However, it is something else you should avoid.
If you tell anyone you are fine and then come back a day or week later, claiming you were injured, they will likely think you are lying. Even if you feel fine after an accident, get a medical evaluation. A doctor can find hidden injuries and ensure they are treated. Also, by seeking medical treatment, you have documentation that connects your injuries to the accident, and that shows how severe they were.
“I Do Not Have a Lawyer”
You may not always need a lawyer for your accident claim. However, even if you do not plan to hire one, you should not tell people about your decision.
If an insurance company requests information about your legal representation, give them the name of the law firm or attorney you hired. If you do not have a lawyer, you can say you are considering your legal representation options.
Most Connecticut car accident attorneys provide clients with a free consultation. It is best to use this to review your settlement offer (at least) to ensure it is fair. If it is unfair, you can hire an attorney and have them negotiate a better settlement on your behalf.
“This Is My Official Statement”
As mentioned above, you will be asked many questions by multiple people after a car accident. Driver and witness accounts of what happened are the main records gathered after an accident occurs. If you plan to file a claim, they can be a crucial part of proving what happened. However, the official statement you give will be different from the statement taken at the accident scene.
After you give an official statement, it will be used for all proceedings moving forward. It is best to prepare this statement with your attorney to ensure you do not say something you should not and that all the information is accurate.
“I Accept Your Settlement Offer”
The insurance company is in the business of settling claims quickly for as little money as possible. While getting a fast offer may seem like good news, it is probably because the insurance company is trying to get you to agree to settle before talking to an attorney.
Remember, once you agree to an offer, you give up your right to file another claim. Even if you discover more serious injuries in a few weeks, there is nothing you can do about it.
Before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company, be sure to have your car accident attorney review it. This is the best way to know if it is fair or not.
Get Help After a Car Accident from Experienced Attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers
After a car accident, you may be confused and unsure of what to do. For most, contacting a Connecticut car accident lawyer is the best option.
Our legal team can review the facts of your case and investigate the incident. We will work to help you maximize the compensation you receive after a Connecticut car accident. The first step is to call our office to schedule a free consultation.