Talk to Your Accident Lawyer, Not to the Crowd

You have just had an accident and you are shaking like a leaf. You certainly are not thinking straight. So, what should you say to the police, the people around you and to the insurance investigator? The best advice is, until you can talk to an accident lawyer say as little as you can. Here are a few things not to say to anyone.

Don’t say anything. Immediately after the accident keep still. If you are hurt, go to the doctor. If you suspect you are hurt, go to the doctor. But do not talk to anyone, even casually, because your nerves are frazzled and you are not in control.

Don’t estimate anything. If the police ask you how fast you think you were going, don’t try to give a figure. Don’t tell someone you were “almost” at the intersection. “Almost” means different things to different people. The insurance investigator will ask you questions several times, and in several different ways. Only give facts you know.

Don’t say, “I’m sorry.” That may feel like the right thing to do, and maybe you mean you are sorry the accident occurred, or sorry the other person is in pain, but an insurance adjustor might interpret that as an admission of guilt. There will be time, after your lawyer settles with the insurance company, to tell the other party how sorry you are that both of you have to go through this. That time is not at the accident scene, or any time until you speak to an attorney.

Don’t say, “I’m okay.” Maybe you are, and maybe you are not. Adrenaline can mask the pain of an injury. Sprains and breaks as well as internal bruising and other injuries may not show up until later. Don’t sign a medical release until you are given the go-ahead by your attorney.

Never admit that you don’t have an attorney. As soon as you can, contact an accident attorney who can use his or her experience to estimate the future results of your injuries. There is a path through the legal system, and your attorney has walked it many times.

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