If you were in a car crash and think you may have been partially to blame, you may feel like you should admit it to anyone who asks. However, even if you do share some fault, admitting it could cost you later if you or the other driver decide to pursue compensation.
If you were injured in a collision because of someone else’s negligence, and think you are partially to blame, contact the experienced Cincinnati car accident lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. We can review the details of your accident to determine if you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
What To Say At The Accident Scene
Immediately after a car accident, if you are not injured and it is safe to do so, it is fine to ask passengers or the other driver about their physical condition. You are required by law to remain at the accident scene and exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. If any witnesses saw the scene, it is a good idea to ask for their contact information as well.
You should always report an accident to law enforcement so that an officer can respond and investigate. The officer will likely question you about details, such as which direction you were traveling. Answer these questions truthfully but avoid guessing or making assumptions. Stick to the facts instead.
Some things you should avoid saying to anyone at the accident scene include:
- I am sorry
- It was my fault
- I apologize
- You came out of nowhere
- I did not see you
These statements could be used or interpreted as an admission that you helped cause the accident, even if you were only being polite.
What To Say To Insurance Companies
Insurance companies commonly contact injured victims soon after an accident. This is a frequently-used tactic that provides an insurance adjuster with the opportunity to speak to an injured party before he or she has a chance to retain legal counsel.
Insurance companies know very well that in the first few days after an injury, it is easier to catch the accident victim off-guard and trick him or her into saying something that could damage a potential case, like taking blame for the accident or minimizing his or her injuries.
The insurance adjuster may request a recorded statement from the accident victim, but you are under no obligation to give a recorded statement, regardless of what the adjuster tells you.
Use Caution On Social Media Or In Conversation
An insurance adjuster may also troll through the social media accounts of an accident victim to try to find something that will help him or her contradict previous statements made by the injured party. For example, a photo of you having fun with friends makes it look like you are not that badly hurt, It sends the message that you are okay, and your life has gone on as usual.
Many personal injury lawyers recommend abstaining from all forms of social media while your claim is pending. At the very least, you should set your privacy settings as high as possible. Be careful about posting anything to social media until your case settles. Consider how a claims adjuster would potentially perceive a post before you make one.
Specifically avoid making any posts that may include:
- Pictures or videos of you doing physical activities, going on vacation or doing fun things that seem to contradict the extent of your injuries
- Negative or threatening comments about the defendant
- Comments in which you accept fault for the accident
- Comments that state that you were not actually injured or that you are fine
You should also be careful about what you say to family members, co-workers and friends. You might be asked during your claim if you have spoken about the accident to anyone else, and this person may be brought in as a witness.
Contact Us For Advice On What To Say After An Accident
After an accident, having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side to protect your legal interests gives you peace of mind while you are healing, but it could also make a difference in the success of your claim. Victims who hire an attorney often receive more than those who do not.
The Cincinnati car accident attorneys at OAL have a proven record of obtaining fair compensation. If you hire us to represent you, we will fight for maximum compensation so that you can focus on your recovery.