James S. Curtis
3 Things You Should Never Say after Car Accident
When you’ve just been involved in a car accident, things can be very stressful and most people don’t know what they should or shouldn’t do. This also includes not knowing what they should or shouldn’t say, or how any statements they make could affect their claim.
It’s important to note that any statement you make after a crash can be used against you in a claim made to the insurance company, regardless of who you made the statement to. With that said, however, not every statement may be admissible in court. This largely depends on who the statement was made to. For example, if you make a statement to the investigating officer at the scene, your statement likely cannot be introduced as evidence at trial as Florida considers any statements made to the Police for the purpose of investigating a crash to be privileged. Although these statements will likely show up on the crash report and can be used by the insurance company in evaluating your claim, a jury may never hear them if called on to decide your case.
Here are 3 things you should never say after a Florida car accident.
“I’m Sorry” or “I Apologize”
Do not apologize to the other driver – even if you initially think that you may be at fault. In the State of Florida, more than one person can be determined to have been at fault for a crash. If you immediately apologize, your apology can be used against you and could be construed as an admission that the crash was completely your fault. Instead of apologizing, which you may think is the courteous thing to do, compassionately ask the other driver if they’re injured, and then call the Police to report the crash.
“I’m Fine” or “I’m not Injured”
If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, the fact that you may have stated at the scene that you weren’t injured or that “I’m fine” can be easily explained. With adrenaline rushing, it’s common for people’s symptoms to be delayed hours, if not even days after a crash. However, anytime you have to explain things that are inconsistent with your case, you are at a disadvantage. In addition, even if you can explain it, the insurance company will still use it against you in trying to pay less on your claim.
The best thing to do is to simply avoid making such statements. If asked at the scene if you’re injured and you’re not yet experiencing any symptoms of any particular injury, simply respond “I’m not sure.” This way you leave the door open to the possibility that you may later experience pain and learn of an injury that you did not immediately notice. You can also avoid having to explain why you unequivocally stated you weren’t injured at the scene, but then later filed an injury claim.
Often times the at-fault driver in a Florida car accident will try to immediately make a deal with you at the scene of the crash to avoid any formal liability or having to go through insurance. Never make any deals with the other driver! Depending on the deal, you could be agreeing to forego any further claim with their insurance company, which may, potentially, be binding.
In addition, insurance companies often like to attempt to quickly settle claims directly with an injured party who has yet to hire a lawyer. If accepted, any settlement would bar you from any further recovery. If an insurance company tries this with you, it’s best to talk to a lawyer before agreeing to anything.
Get the Help and Guidance You Need After
a Ruskin Car Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you consult with a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys have extensive litigation experience and handle only personal injury claims. If you’ve suffered injuries in a Ruskin car accident, contact SouthShore Injury Attorneys at (813) 419-3866 for a free consultation.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
5 Medical Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to a Ruskin car accident attorney now.