What Not to Do, or Say, After an Accident

Over five million motor vehicle accidents occur in the United States annually. Accidents are sudden and can leave you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain – unsure of what steps to take, who to call and who to trust. In the aftermath of a crash, it’s very important to remain calm. While it’s natural to feel anxious or upset, it’s important to be mindful of what you say and do following a car accident. Although no one plans on being involved in an accident, by understanding what to avoid, you can avoid making choices that could have a significant impact on any potential legal proceedings and the overall resolution of the accident.

What NOT to Do After a Crash

The moments following a crash can be very confusing, sometimes even chaotic. If you are able, your first call should be to emergency services and local authorities. There are also actions you should try to avoid, as they may incriminate you or create additional obstacles in pursuing legal action. Until you are able to retain legal representation, refraining from the actions below could be in your best interest:

  • Admitting fault can be used against you. Statements of admission to fault have the potential to impact your eligibility for compensation under insurance policies and may also influence the amount of compensation you receive.
  • Driving away is considered a crime in most states. Choosing to drive away from the accident scene can result in legal consequences, varying from misdemeanor to felony charges.
  • Forgetting to collect driver and insurance information can impede your ability to file an insurance claim, identify the responsible party, initiate legal procedures, and gather witness statements. It is crucial to gather this information to protect your rights and ensure a smooth claims process.
  • Leaving the scene without photo or video evidence leaves you without sufficient proof of who is liable for the injuries and damages resulted from the accident. It is crucial to always document the accident scene, property damage, injuries, and traffic signs and signals around the scene of the crash.
  • Speaking to insurance without an experienced car accident attorney from The Barnes Firm is one of the biggest mistakes you could make following an accident. While you focus on recovering from the accident, allow one of our experienced car accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm to negotiate with insurance on your behalf to help you get the best result possible. Call The Barnes Firm today at (800) 800-0000 to speak with one of our trusted car accident attorneys.
  • Underestimating your own injuries can lead to worsening conditions and potential denial of personal injury claims. Seeking immediate medical care allows for proper evaluation, treatment, and documentation of injuries, ensuring that you receive the necessary care and support while protecting your legal rights.

What NOT to Say After a Crash

Following an accident, your initial inclination may be to say something. Whether it be an apology or an accusation, you must be mindful of your words, as they may potentially incriminate you or make you ineligible for certain compensation. Following a car accident, refrain from saying any of the following phrases:

  • “I believe…” statements express your opinions about the incident. If the police observe any uncertainty regarding your involvement in the accident, or if you rely on subjective “I believe” statements, it could jeopardize the validity of your claim. It is unwise to engage in speculation at the accident scene.
  • “I didn’t see you” or similar phrases might appear to shift blame to another party following a car accident. However, these statements can potentially incriminate you instead. There are multiple reasons why you might fail to notice someone, whether due to your own or their fault. Expressing that you didn’t see them could be interpreted as accepting fault, even though that may not always be the case.
  • “I don’t need medical assistance” can forfeit any opportunity to pursue a settlement for your injuries, as the insurance company may argue that your injuries were unrelated to the accident. Essentially, if you indicate that your injuries are not connected to the incident, the insurance company can use this as grounds to deny or diminish your claim.
  • “I’m not working with an attorney” reveals your lack of assistance to the other party’s insurance company. Insurance companies are known to employ deceptive tactics to exhaust injury victims without an attorney and secure unfavorable settlements.
  • “I’m sorry” or any form of apology following a car accident can indicate to an insurance company that you accept responsibility, leading them to undermine the amount you receive in your claim. This is true even if you are merely expressing regret or frustration about the incident, as many individuals tend to say “I’m sorry” in such circumstances.
  • “Yes” to an insurance offer is generally considered agreeing with assertions made by the insurance adjuster, which may result in a significantly lower payout than what you are entitled to. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced car accident attorney at The Barnes Firm before making any decisions or agreements in such conversations.

Overall, it is important to be cautious with your statements to avoid unintentionally incriminating yourself or undermining your ability to seek compensation for the harm you suffered in the accident.

Social Media's Role After a Collision

In the aftermath of an accident, it’s likely that you’re building a case. During this timeframe, it’s very important to be cautious with your social media presence and refrain from posting anything that can contradict your injury claim. Additionally, posting about the accident itself holds the potential to provide details that may increase your liability or incriminate you, depending on the content and commentary on the post. Lastly, location check-ins must be considered. For example, if you claim to have a broken bone, but check in to your local gym every day following the accident, the credibility of your case may be compromised. As a general rule of thumb, avoid social media activity as much as possible following an accident.

To safeguard your accident case, it is advisable to minimize or cease your social media engagement altogether. Take the time to review and modify your privacy settings to limit access to your profile, posts, and pictures. It is imperative that you refrain from discussing the accident, injuries, health status, insurance claims, or personal injury case on social media platforms. Avoid accepting friend requests from unfamiliar individuals and request that your family and friends avoid tagging you in any posts, photos, or comments related to the case. Lastly, inform your attorney about your social media presence to ensure they are aware and can provide appropriate guidance.

Contact The Barnes Firm

It is important to be mindful of your words, actions, and social media presence following a car accident to protect your case and credibility. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact The Barnes Firm at (800) 800-0000 for a FREE case evaluation. Our experienced car accident attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of your case and help you get the best result possible.

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