You've been in an accident? What now? You can start by learning how to protect yourself after a serious accident, by knowing what to say and what not to.
But you've heard it all the time, don't say things to incriminate yourself after a car accident.
Insurance companies will use it to try to pin the accident on you, so they can legally avoid paying damages for your medical bills, lost income and damage to your car, even though the accident was their driver's fault. Click here to see how the insurance company will be working against you from the very beginning.
After an accident, make sure you take care of your medical needs first, and protect your legal rights. You do that by going to the hospital immediately after the accident and not waiting until later when you are really feeling the effects of your injuries.
SO, here are the two things you definitely should NOT say after an accident to the other driver or to the insurance company.
1) It was my fault.
Describe the crash in matter-of-fact terms, and never give your theory as to what happened. You never want to admit fault before anything has been resolved. After you're hit by a car, you may be in shock, confused, and often times hurt or in pain. You cannot think clearly like this, so this is not the right time to say that you are at fault. Its human nature to want to take responsibility or to excuse the other driver's actions, but don't do it. You may not remember or have seen everything, and leaving out details that show the other driver is at fault will give his insurance company an excuse to deny or delay taking responsibility for the crash.
2) I am not injured.
Sometimes, injuries are missed and you might not know that you are injured immediately after the accident. Even if you feel fine now, don't say nothing is wrong. We've seen clients that thought they were fine right after the injury only to discover that the accident caused them broken ribs, back injuries, torn rotator cuffs or some other serious injury. Sometimes they didn't feel it until the adrenaline wore off or they woke up the next day.
You can hear from clients about their experiences with us here at Donahoe Kearney. Even if we can't help you by representing you, we can certainly help by sending you free guides and reports that will help you understand what to do after an accident - like this Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in the DC Metropolitan Area.
And if you have questions about your legal rights after a serious car crash, or think you may need a lawyer, just call us at (202) 393 - 3320.