You most likely know that when you have a car accident, you do need to share with the other driver or drivers who were involved, and the police if they are called to the scene of the accident,information about how to contact you and the name of your insurance company. Other than that, there are mistakes you need to avoid if you have been in a car accident. Personal injury lawyers at Springer & Lyle offer these few suggestions.
- It’s probably best not to say, “It was my fault,” especially if your still a bit confused and trying to figure out what just happened. Fault cannot be determined until a full investigation takes place. In Texas, determining fault is an important part of the process. If the percentage of fault is greater than 50 percent, the injured party cannot collect for damages. If less than 50 percent at fault, damages are apportioned according to the percent of fault attributed to the injured person seeking damages.
- Do not say you are “fine” when anyone asks you how you are. Some Emergency room physicians say that there is an adrenaline rush after an accident and many who are hurt “just don’t feel the pain for a few hours.” Plus, soft tissue injuries, like whip-lash, may not cause pain or symptoms until several days after the accident.
- Do not offer opinions to a police officer. The responding officer will ask you what happened. Be succinct with your answers and provide only the facts. The facts are what you have personal knowledge of without speculating. If you do not know the answer, say you do not know. Do not say, “I think it could have been…” This may later be interpreted as a fact.
- Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance agent without first seeking the advice of an attorney. It’s OK to talk to your own insurance co. representative but still a good idea to speak with a lawyer first. An insurance adjuster for the other driver will call you soon after the accident and ask you to give your version of what happened. The conversation is usually recorded. The adjuster will act like your friend. Remember, the adjuster is working for the other insurance company, not for you. Your words can be misinterpreted and used against you later when the insurance company tries to determine fault or whether or not you were injured.
- Do not post on social media. Anything you post there may be misconstrued and used against you later. Your description of the accident may later be interpreted as an admission of fault. Any photos you post could potentially be used against you whether they are wreck related or not. Be aware that the insurance adjuster may be reading all of your status updates.
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you evaluate your case and help you obtain reasonable compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.