If you are ever involved in a car accident you will likely go through a range of emotions that include fright, fear, anger, stress and more. You cannot let your emotions get the best of you while still on the scene of the accident, causing you to do or say something that can come back to haunt you down the road. Here’s what you should never do or say after being involved in a car accident.
Leave the Crash Scene
It really goes without saying, but you should NEVER leave the crash scene, even if the accident was not your fault. If you leave the scene you are putting yourself in much worse legal trouble than if you remain. You have to remain on scene even if the accident is minor in nature and no one was hurt. Remain on scene so you can exchange insurance information with the other driver, ensure no one was hurt, and then report the incident to law enforcement so an accident report can be created.
If you have been involved in a serious accident, whether you are at fault or are the victim, you should never move evidence at the scene. Once police officers arrive they will begin taking pictures of the vehicles, the road conditions, the debris and any other evidence they think will be important to the accident report. Moving evidence can lead investigators to make an improper determination about the cause of the crash and who was at fault.
Say “I’m Sorry”
Even if you were the person who caused the accident, you should NEVER say “I’m sorry” at an accident scene. Your adrenaline will definitely be flowing, and your human nature to apologize might just kick in, but avoid saying this phrase at all costs. Others could misconstrue your intent here and look at it as an admission of guilt. Even if you were the victim of the crash this could come back to be a big problem if a lawsuit is filed.
Don’t Offer Extra Information
The majority of car accidents require police to respond to the scene. Because of this you will likely have to speak with an officer about the incident. The officer will ask you questions about the accident. Be sure to answer all of the officer’s questions, if you can, providing truthful information. Aside from giving the facts, do not offer any additional information, such as speculating as to who might be at fault or reasons why the accident might have occurred.
Don’t Issue a Statement to Insurance
You should not issue a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster after an accident. The adjuster could be looking for language you use that could change the fault of the accident and put it in your court. Speak with your insurance company first as well as a lawyer you trust.
Don’t Post on Social Media
It’s understandable that you will want to vent on social media about the accident, especially if you were the victim, but you need to refrain from doing this. You also need to refrain from posting about any injuries you suffered on your social media pages. Do not reach out to the other driver via social media either.
As you can see, the stress of being involved in a car accident does not only involve the accident itself. There’s plenty of issues afterwards that can cause you stress and that you should avoid at all costs to protect yourself.