One of the most important things to remember when speaking with police or anyone else at the scene of an accident is to watch what you say. Specifically, you should never say anything that could be construed as an admission of fault. This will severely hamper your case if you end up filing a claim for property damage or injuries suffered in the crash.
This can be easier said than done, considering the adrenaline rush most people feel during and after a severe collision. To be sure, it is a very stressful and sometimes chaotic time. Examples of common things people say that can be damaging to a claim include the following:
- “I didn’t see you coming:” Even if this is true, this is a statement you shouldn’t make at an accident site, because it could be construed as an admission of guilt, or you taking responsibility for what happened in the accident. The other driver might have committed a traffic infraction that caused you to not see them — it may not be your fault at all that you didn’t see them coming, so it’s not worth saying and potentially hurting your case.
- “I’m sorry:” Even if you don’t intend your apology to be an admission of fault, there’s still a chance it could be taken that way, either by the other driver or by other people who are present at the scene and are paying attention to what happened. Check and see if everyone is okay and provide any assistance you can, but don’t make any apologies.
Instead, any time you talk to other drivers, witnesses or the police at an accident scene, be sure to stick solely to the facts and what you know about what happened. Don’t make any guesses, take any responsibility or try to answer questions to which you do not have completely solid answers. Anything beyond the strict facts could come back to haunt you later if you are involved in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
For the sound legal advice you need following a serious auto accident in Florida, consult a knowledgeable Sarasota personal injury attorney with Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.