Statements After a Car Accident that Could Hurt Your Claim
After a car accident, an insurance adjuster may reach out to you and try to get a recorded statement. However, this is an attempt by the insurance company to obtain evidence that can later be used against you. Similarly, the insurance adjuster may look for statements you made at the scene of the accident in order to diminish your claim for compensation.
The trusted New Jersey car accident attorneys at our firm discuss why you should err on the side of caution when speaking to anyone involved after the car accident. Let us help protect your claim by scheduling a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.
When Words Can Hurt a Claim
Car accident claims are a question of who is responsible for paying for the damages. To determine this, the insurance companies involved will look to the evidence at the crash scene. They may also evaluate statements made by each of the drivers, as well as any witnesses. Anything that you say at the scene of the accident could potentially be used against you.
For this reason, it is important not to say any of the following:
- I am sorry
- I apologize
- I did not see you
Any of these statements may be seen as admitting fault for the accident. Even if this is not what you meant, your statements could be interpreted as accepting responsibility for the accident.
Other statements that could negatively impact your claim include:
- Statements about your health – An insurance adjuster may contact you shortly after the accident and inquire about your health. Saying that “you are fine” or downplaying your injuries can result in the insurance company denying your claim or claiming that you were not as injured as you really were. It is far better to say that you are receiving treatment and then allow your lawyer to accurately account for your health status based on your medical records.
- Guesses – Avoid telling the law enforcement officer who responds to the scene or insurance adjuster any guesses, such as how the accident happened, the speed you were traveling at or other things that you do not know for a fact. The insurance adjuster may try to tie you to this statement later, and this statement may be determined to be inaccurate.
- Opinions – Also, avoid giving any opinion that you have about the accident. Avoid blaming the other person. Let the insurance adjusters conduct their investigation and reach their own conclusions without your conjecture.
You May Be Incorrect
One important reason why you should be careful about what you say after a car accident is that you may be incorrect about what happened. Even if you believe you were partially at fault for the crash, you may not know all the factors involved in the case. The other driver could have been:
- Driving a poorly-maintained vehicle
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Following too closely
Any Statement Made Could Be Misconstrued
Any statement that you make can potentially be misunderstood or misinterpreted. A witness to the car accident may not hear you correctly and may state that you said one thing, when you actually said the opposite. A statement that you make with one meaning may be interpreted as something else. Stick only to the facts when you report the accident and avoid making unnecessary comments.
Let Our Team Protect Your Best Interests
Victims injured in car accidents have a right to be compensated for any damages sustained due to the actions of a negligent driver. However, insurance companies often try to use certain tactics to trick you into saying or doing something damaging that could greatly affect your claim for compensation.
Our legal team at Lynch Law Firm, PC are prepared to protect your best interests by handing all communications with the insurance company on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. There are no upfront fees unless we help you recover favorable compensation.
We look forward to helping you. Call (800) 518-0508 now.