Silence is Golden: What Not to Say After a Car Accident
Safe, defensive drivers who are not at fault can hurt their chances at an insurance claim because of what they say immediately following a car accident. Here’s our list of what not to say right after a wreck to ensure your insurance claim is not negatively affected.
#1: Don’t Give an Admission of Fault
This is one of the quickest ways you can hurt your chances at an insurance claim. Don’t say anything that can be taken inadvertently to mean that you were at fault in the accident.
An accidental admission of fault usually happens because people are trying to be nice or cordial. This situation may be uncomfortable or awkward, but you just got in a car accident that was not your fault—you don’t owe the other driver anything. Choose your words carefully and avoid trying to ease any tension by taking responsibility for the car accident.
#2: Don’t Say “I’m Sorry” Following a Car Accident
Sometimes, it’s an immediate reaction for many people to apologize following a car accident, even if they weren’t at fault. It’s important to remember that if you are not at fault, then you have absolutely nothing to be sorry for. Apologizing is used by insurance companies to try and shift the blame of the wreck, hurting your chances at a claim. You have nothing to be sorry for, so don’t say it.
#3: Don’t Speculate About the Wreck
In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s vital that you don’t try to speculate about the cause of the accident with anyone else. False narratives can be constructed around your speculations and you may end up being falsely accused of being at fault because of them. Leave the speculation to the experts and insurance adjusters during the accident’s investigation.
#4: Don’t Say “I’m Okay”
Saying phrases like “I’m okay” or “I’m fine” in the aftermath of a car accident can cause problems down the line in a potential claim. Immediately after a traumatic occurrence, such as a wreck, your body produces adrenaline which can mask any symptoms or injuries you potentially have.
The truth is, you may have delayed onset injuries that you aren’t aware of. These injuries, such as whiplash or concussions, can take hours, or even an entire day for you to notice. Even though you feel fine, you may not be.
What You Should Say After A Car Accident
When conversing with the other individuals after a car accident, you should only say what is absolutely necessary: the exchange of personal information and insurance. While you may think that this will come across cold or terse, it’s much better than saying anything that will hurt your chances of a claim. Be careful with what you say and don’t engage in unnecessary conversations where you could make a mistake.
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