Car accidents are unexpected and disorienting, but it’s important to pay attention to your conduct after one happens. If you are involved in an accident, remember not to say these three things.
For some people, it’s instinctual to apologize whenever something doesn’t go exactly as expected. These are the people who say, “Sorry!” when an impasse is reached while trying to get by another person.
But, after a car accident, saying sorry admits that you believe the car accident was your fault. In reality, there may be a number of factors that contributed to the accident that you aren’t even aware of yet.
However, admitting fault by saying sorry could mean that you can’t be compensated for injuries you received and may need to cover the injuries received by other involved parties.
Instead of saying sorry, try something along the lines of, “I wasn’t expecting this to happen” or “This is an unfortunate situation.”
“You’re fine” or “Shake it off”
If someone who was involved in the accident looks like they are in pain or is complaining of pain, do not ignore it or brush it off. Even if you are upset at the other person for the accident, your first question should always be, “Are you okay?”
Next, you must notify the police of the accident by law. Failing to notify law enforcement of an accident in which someone was injured or died is a criminal offense. You must also file an accident report with the DMV if there were any injuries.
“We don’t need to get the police involved“
If no one was hurt in the accident, you may feel inclined to suggest that you do not call the police. However, failing to notify the police means that there won’t be a third-party at the scene to document what happened. The drivers involved in the accident could change their story of what happened.
You’re also required to report an accident with the DMV 10 days after an accident that resulted in over $1,000 of property damage. Calling the police can help document the actual damage done in the accident.
“This is all your fault!”
Car accidents are majorly inconvenient. They can take away from your time and money and even your physical well-being. This can cause some drivers to become angry when an accident happens.
However, you should not make any derogatory remarks at the involved driver(s) after a car accident. Especially if the other driver was engaging in road rage behavior, an insulting remark could quickly catapult into violence. You don’t want to get mixed up with criminal charges after a car accident.
Get help with your responses
By working with an attorney after an accident, you can get help speaking to the police, the other driver’s insurance company and your own insurance company to keep from saying something that could get you into trouble. A lawyer will help fight for and protect your best interests after an accident.