Watch Your Words After A Crash
Legally speaking, after a car or truck accident, your words can matter as much as your actions. You may wonder what to say and not say. This discussion is not intended to be legal advice appropriate to your unique circumstances but rather general guidance.
What should I say and not say…
…to the police?
Before you say anything to anyone, move your car out of traffic if you can. Call 911 and answer the operator’s questions succinctly. Once a police officer arrives, make brief, truthful statements.
Do not submit to lengthy questioning by a police investigator before you have legal representation. Do not admit fault.
…to my companions in the car and/or bystanders?
Do not say, “I’m sorry!” or “It was my fault!” Tell someone if you are in pain and need immediate medical assistance. Ask someone to take pictures of the car, your injuries and the accident scene.
…to the other driver, if applicable?
Say as little as possible to that other driver except to exchange your name, phone number and insurance information. Ask for theirs, also. Do not say, “I’m sorry!” or “It was my fault!”
…to medical care providers?
If it’s relevant, tell emergency medical technicians (EMTs) the name of your preferred hospital. Speak up if you are in pain to expedite triage.
Do not tell a medical care provider, “Nothing’s wrong with me. I feel completely fine. I don’t need an evaluation.” You may experience symptoms after shock wears off.
…to insurance company representatives?
You should report the basics of the accident to your own insurer, but you should not admit fault nor converse in depth with your insurer or another driver’s insurer without the help of a lawyer.
…on social media about my accident?
Share as little explicit information as possible on Facebook, Caring Bridge, Go Fund Me, Twitter or Instagram. You can tell caring friends that you are in the hospital or recovering after an accident but do not share details or opinions. Do not discuss fault.
…to family, friends and other people who care about me?
Stay practical. Let them help in ways that they can, but if they overstep boundaries or offer intrusive opinions, politely let them know that your lawyer and care providers are working to help you recover. Do not discuss fault.
…to a lawyer after I get in touch with one?
The sooner you speak to an attorney, the better. Be honest and stay in contact with your lawyer often to report on your condition and any new pieces of information about the accident.
…to get a free consultation?
…if Spanish is my preferred language?
Please let us know at Litton & Chaney Law Firm.