You’re in a car wreck and the adrenaline is flowing like crazy because your body is in the flight or fight stage, and you obviously didn’t expect to be in a car wreck. You expected to be at your destination. You’re already planning what you’re going to do when you get to your destination.
The last thing you’re thinking about when you’re in an accident is how this is going to look later. Like what relative legal position – unless you’re a lawyer, right? You’re not going to be thinking about what’s going on legally at the scene. You’re going to be thinking about how you feel you only anything did I hurt anybody else? How bad is my car messed up? How bad is their car messed up? Whose fault is this going to be?
Remember – Everyone At The Scene Is A Potential Witness
One of the critical things to remember at the scene of a wreck is that everybody there is a potential witness either for you or against you. Your first concern should be the health and safety of everybody around you and yourself, you should clear the area, get out of harm’s way, and notify the authorities
What You Say Can Help You Or Be Used Against You
Your third or fourth thought is to be thinking that everything I say to other people here could potentially be used either against me or for me.
It’s probably not the greatest idea to be making comments like “I was late for swim practice, or I dropped my cell phone and was reaching for it right before this happened, or I’m sorry that I was in a rush.” You should be careful because all those things could come back and be used against you, even though you’re not at fault for the wreck.
EXAMPLE: Somebody runs a stop sign and T-bones you and you were late for swim practice, or you were late to pick up your kid and you were rushing, but you had stopped and then you went and then you got T-boned by somebody that ran the stop sign. A lot of people try to make the person at fault feel better. So, they’ll say things like. “Oh, we’ve all been there. Heck, I was in a rush to today.” That sounds innocuous at the scene because you’re just offering a platitude or placation to the other person, and you didn’t want them to feel so bad about being at fault for the wreck.
Unfortunately, if you end up being in a case against them, they may use that against you. They’re going to use the fact that you said at the scene that you were in a rush. They’re going to take it out of context and they’re going to sort of paint a picture that you may have run a stop sign too.
Things Not To Say After An Accident
- “I’m Sorry”
- “Let’s handle it on our own”
- “I don’t need a doctor”
- Don’t say ANYTHING on social media
You just don’t have to say anything, say thank you for apologizing, or I appreciate your apology and be done with it. No need to make them feel any better. No need to tell them that you’re perfectly alright because a good percent of the people that end up with serious injuries from a car wreck doesn’t feel much of anything at the scene because they have so much adrenaline going. You have no idea what your medical condition is because your body hasn’t had time to react to the trauma.
Be careful what you say at the scene of a collision. Be very careful about what you say to the other person about your injury, about their fault, about your fault, potentially accept, apologies. You can be sorry that a wreck happens, not be at fault for it, but could sound like you’re apologizing for being at fault.
Worry about getting your personal belongings out of the car or if it’s got to be towed. Don’t worry so much about the other driver that caused the wreck. Don’t be rude, but at the same time, do not be destructive to your own potential case.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.