Getting into a car crash is often a frightening and stressful experience. You may be in shock, and your emotions are likely heightened significantly.
However, it is important to handle the situation effectively so that you don't do anything that could harm your claim for damages later.
In fact, after a car accident, there are certain things that you should say and avoid saying in order to protect your personal injury claim. Read on to learn more about how to protect your car accident personal injury case.
#1 - Do Your Best to Stay Calm, Cool, and Collected
First of all, it is important for you to remain calm, cool, and collected after the accident. You should not show any signs of aggression or agitation. It is also a good idea not to suggest that either party was at fault for the mishap. The best thing for you to do is exchange insurance information with the other driver as quickly and respectfully as possible.
If you feel overwhelmed or upset when the crash occurs, please keep in mind that this is normal. Many people often feel this way after getting into an accident. However, it is crucial that you do not express these feelings to anyone else involved in the crash. It is best to take a few minutes to yourself for some long, deep breaths in the car with your eyes closed to help calm down before interacting with others if you think you may have trouble keeping how you feel to yourself.
Remember, the simple act of taking long, deep breaths is just one way to hack your nervous system into calming down when something stressful happens. Another way to do this is to take a few minutes to repeat a mantra in your mind while also closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. The mantra you repeat can sound like, "I am capable of handling this obstacle in front of me," or something along those lines. Doing this can help hack your brain into believing it, even if you don't feel it is true at first.
#2 - Obtain Witness Information
It is also important for you to obtain contact details from any witnesses who may have been present during the incident. This can be invaluable evidence if there are any disputes or discrepancies about what happened during the accident.
When speaking to potential witnesses, be sure not to embellish or exaggerate any details. You do not have to get into the nitty-gritty of the crash with the witnesses since that will be part of the investigation later. It is important for the facts to remain as accurate and untainted as possible during your personal injury case so that you get the best results.
#3 - Do Not Apologize or Admit Fault for the Accident In Any Way
Another very important tip is to avoid apologizing or admitting fault for the crash, even if you believe that you may have been partially responsible for what happened. This can be used against you later on when it comes time to prove your claim in court. Even if you are feeling guilty and regretful for what happened, be absolutely sure that you do not express these feelings out loud and instead wait until your lawyer has a chance to assess the situation properly.
Apologizing when something painful or difficult occurs, even if it is not your fault, can often be an automatic, knee-jerk reaction. However, it is critically important to avoid saying "sorry" after a crash. The last thing you want is for your claim to be in jeopardy as a result of a simple slip of the tongue.
#4 - Do Not Talk About Your Injuries Following a Crash
Be sure that you do not make any statements about the extent of your injuries immediately following an accident. You should seek medical attention first and then discuss the matter with your attorney. This will help ensure that your right to due compensation is not jeopardized in the event that you later discover that you have sustained more severe injuries.
Simply saying that you are "fine" after a crash can seem innocuous enough, but doing so can actually be very harmful to your personal injury claim. You see, if you say that you are okay immediately after the crash and then your back starts to hurt a few days later, it may be more difficult to recover damages for the medical costs associated with your back pain because you have already said that you were "fine."
Remember, it can be extremely difficult to know the full extent of the physical, mental, and emotional harm caused by an accident until sometime after the incident has occurred. In many cases, physically injured victims do not immediately feel the pain of the injuries they have sustained.
The shock of a crash can be enough to block the pain receptors in the brain and help a victim get through the immediate aftermath of a crash before the true discomfort materializes once the shock of the incident has worn off. Therefore, it is wise to take caution when speaking about your or another person's injuries after a collision until all evidence can be assessed thoroughly and accurately.
#5 - Do Not Make Any Assumptions About What Happened
When the police come to make a report about the incident, it is wise to be completely honest about what happened. If there are certain details you are unsure of, it is in your best interest to be truthful about that with the investigating officer. It is completely fine to say "I don't know" when answering a question asked of you after a crash. Do not attempt to make any assumptions about the details of the crash, as this can significantly hurt your claim for damages.
#6 - Ask for the Contact Details of Any Witnesses That Were Present
Ultimately, it is important to be aware of how you communicate after a car accident in order to protect your personal injury claim. Be sure to stay calm, cool, and collected; ask for details from any witnesses present at the crash; do not apologize or admit fault for the incident; refrain from speaking about any injuries sustained in the crash; and most importantly, do not make any assumptions or guesses about what happened during the incident.
We Are Here to Help Injured Car Accident Victims
By following these tips, you will be able to do your best to protect your car accident personal injury claim and take the necessary steps toward receiving fair compensation for any losses you have incurred that were caused by the crash.
Do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer from Bandas Law Firm, P.C. if you have suffered significant damages as a result of a car accident. One of the skilled attorneys on our team will be happy to provide valuable guidance throughout the claims process.
We have helped many other injured car crash victims in similar situations, and we will do everything in our power to help with your case too. Don't delay—we are ready and willing to help you now.
Contact the skilled team at Bandas Law Firm, P.C. right away to discuss the details of your case. Give us a call at (361) 238-2789 or fill out the online contact form.