5 Things to Avoid Saying After A Car Accident

People in Ohio tend to have a fair amount of that friendly Midwest charm. Neighbors are willing to lend a helping hand, and even strangers usually get a genuine smile and a wave. This makes Columbus and the surrounding area a great place to live, but the truth is that it can be a little problematic if you are involved in a car accident - even a seemingly minor fender-bender.

For many people, their natural inclination after a motor vehicle collision is to calm the situation. If you are one of these people, you may honestly care about the other driver's feelings and worry about his or her physical wellbeing. While being nice is always acceptable, there are a few things you should avoid saying to other drivers, police or insurance adjusters to protect your claim for compensation.

  1. "It was my fault." You should never admit to any wrongdoing directly. Even if you think you were wrong, an investigation may show that the other person was at fault partially or entirely or that an outside factor played a role in causing the collision.
  2. "I'm sorry." Part of our instinct is to apologize when something bad happens. In an accident situation, an insurance company can use this statement against you as evidence of fault - even if you only meant to convey empathy toward the other person involved.
  3. "Don't worry about it." It does not feel good to contribute to someone else's bad day. You might even think the collision is minor. Regardless of your feelings, always exchange names, phone numbers and insurance information.
  4. "I'm fine." Your adrenaline may surge after a traumatic incident and mask serious physical harm. You may feel okay immediately after an accident only to wake up the next morning in complete pain because the back or neck strain took time to develop. You may even want to put on a good face. Don't. Only let a doctor make a diagnosis.
  5. "I guess..." Do not guess as to the facts of the accident such as your speed, how far apart the vehicles were or if the light was green, yellow or red. Never guess at something of which you are not sure absolutely. Even then, it is okay to say you need to consult with your attorney before you give a statement.

After an accident, you may not know whether you will have to file a personal injury claim or not. That is okay. Following these guidelines and contacting an attorney is about protecting any potential compensation you may need to cover medical bills, repair your vehicle or replace lost wages if you are unable to work during your recovery.

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