If you have been injured in a car crash, you may already have spoken with an insurance adjuster. The things that you say during these discussions can make or break your case.
In order to make sure that you receive all the money that is legally yours, you need to be aware of certain things not to do after an accident and not to say to the other driver, or to an insurance adjuster.
Fault, Mistakes, or Being Sorry
It may seem natural to feel bad about an accident and want to express this. No matter your personal opinion about the crash, any mistakes made, and who is at fault, do not express any of these to an adjuster. You want to have the strongest case possible, and these types of statements may be used against you. The facts will be sorted out in due time by your legal team. You can rest assured that official documentation such as police reports and medical records will convey all details regarding who is at fault.
Apparent Lack of Injury
It may seem to you that you are fine and have not been injured. Regardless of how you currently feel, this may or may not be the case. You may not learn of injuries until after multiple medical examinations with various specialists. Injuries such as internal bleeding, hairline fractures, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or emotional distress, and whiplash may not be immediately obvious. You want to maintain a consistent message regarding any injuries you sustained as a result of the crash. Let the trained medical experts determine the extent of any injuries, and let your legal team handle the presentation of these facts.
Similar to speaking about apparent lack of injury to your person, also avoid making any statements regarding damage to your vehicle or property. While you may still be able to drive your vehicle, and while it may appear unaffected, this may not actually be the case. Until a thorough evaluation is performed, any details regarding damage or lack thereof are speculation at best. Statements that imply there was no damage may hurt your case in the long run, especially if costly damages are discovered later on.
What You Were Doing at the Time of the Accident
The insurance adjuster may engage you in what seems like casual dialogue. Any line of questioning may come across to you as “just making conversation.” It’s critical that you avoid any mention of what you were doing when the crash occurred because this may be used against you later. This includes any awareness you had or did not have about the other vehicle, roadway conditions, and who had the right of way. The official police report will include the pertinent information and will clearly lay out these details.
Opinions and the Phrase “I Think”
It may appear to you that the details of the accident are straightforward and that you understand everything that happened clearly. Any statements regarding your thoughts or opinion may backfire, especially if they are later used in an attempt to discredit the validity of your case. If you feel pressured to answer a question such as “What do you think happened?” you can politely decline to answer. Since you do not have all the facts and details, you likely do not have a complete picture. It is not your job to speculate or offer guesses about what happened, and your legal team will handle this for you.
You may be pressured to make official recorded statements. While it may seem like a good idea, and you may feel that you have nothing to withhold, this is not the time to go on the record. When we know we’re being recorded, we often become nervous or tense, which can affect our perspective and the facts we provide. Your words may be taken out of context by the insurance company and twisted around to minimize the apparent validity of your injuries or damages to your property.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you may be entitled to compensation. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure that you receive all the money that is rightfully yours. You should not be responsible for medical bills as a result of an accident that was not your fault.
Contact the Chris Hudson Law Group today at (706) 863-6600 to talk with one of our lawyers about your accident. We have handled many personal injury cases for satisfied clients who were in a similar situation when they contacted us. We are prepared to take on your case and guide you through this complex legal process.
We will work to help you receive all the monetary compensation to which you are entitled so that you can leave this devastating experience in the past and get back to living your life.