Exercise Care When Making A Statement At Scene of Car Accident
If you feel tongue-tied by the events that led up to a car accident, do not worry. You might have helped to strengthen your case, should you choose to make a personal injury claim.
One thing not to say at the scene of an accident, and why that is the case:
Do not say “I didn’t see you,” even if you know that you do not recall having spotted the other party. Just because you failed to spot the other party, does not mean that you should be held totally responsible for any damages or injuries.
There are ways that a driver can go unseen, before causing an accident. For instance, that driver’s speed might have allowed the steered vehicle to pass by in a flash. Alternately, it might have reduced to almost zero the time allowed for reacting to the movements of the speeding vehicle. Maybe the collision took place at night or during the twilight hours. It could be that the other party had failed to turn on the vehicle’s lights. That would have made the other party largely responsible for the accident.
Guidelines for reviewing the situation with the police, if an officer arrives on the scene:
Focus on sharing the facts. Do not call attention to your opinion, regarding who should be held accountable. Do not suggest that you caused the accident. Never say that you are sorry for what has happened. The other party might misinterpret that statement. That misinterpretation might push the other party, or the police to think that you have assumed responsibility for the unfortunate incident.
The strongest assertion cannot obscure the facts.
The other party can claim to have been injured, but that claim must be supported by a medical doctor. By the same token, the other party might insist that you caused the accident, but the location and nature of the damage might lead your insurance company to question that claim.
When to speak up?
Do not hesitate to share your version of what took place, when speaking with your own insurance company. Explain what happened before and after the accident, as well as what took place at the time of the unfortunate incident. Your insurance company will be interested in knowing what statements might have been made by the other party.
Personal injury lawyer in Corona asks you not to speak for any passenger, unless that same passenger was so badly injured that he or she must recover in the hospital. Do not assume that no one was hurt, just because you, the driver did not suffer any injuries. Yet do not assume that you remain unhurt, just because you have felt ok during the 24 hours that followed the accident. Things could change.