Portland’s roadways have more motorists on them than ever before. With increased traffic likely comes an increased chance that you will eventually find yourself in the middle of a car crash. If you do, what you say matters.
In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, more than 60,000 automobile accidents occurred on Oregon’s roadways. Car collisions are often painful, stressful and confusing. Still, you cannot let your words ruin your chances of receiving compensation for your damages. Here are four things you should avoid saying after a car wreck.
1. I am sorry
Usually, someone causes an automobile collision to occur. As you probably know, if you admit fault at the accident scene, you may not be able to pursue compensation for your injuries, property damage or anything else. Even apologizing for the inconvenience of the accident may encourage a witness to tell officers you admitted fault.
2. I feel fine
A car crash can cause you to sustain minor, moderate or serious injuries. Unfortunately, though, when adrenaline is flowing through your body, you may not realize you are hurt. Further, symptoms of an injury may not show up immediately. Accordingly, do not tell anyone you feel fine. Instead, seek a medical opinion and rely on a qualified physician to either give you a clean bill of health or diagnose an injury.
3. He or she is wrong
Emotions often run high after automobile collisions. When a police officer arrives to investigate the accident scene and write a report, he or she will likely talk to everyone involved and all witnesses. Let the officer do the job. Do not interrupt interviews to interject. Instead, wait until it is your opportunity to talk to the officer to set the record straight. Also, create your own record of the accident scene.
4. You may record my statements
When an insurance adjuster calls you to discuss the accident, he or she may ask you to record the conversation. Generally, recorded conversations are not in your best interest. That is, insurance providers may use your recorded statements to pay you less than you deserve for your claim. Instead, refer the adjuster to your attorney. Your lawyer can likely help you to craft your statement in a way that does not harm your chances of recovering fully for your injuries and property damage.
With some luck and a bit of defensive driving, you may never have to worry about a car crash. If you do collide with another driver, though, you must be careful with what you say. By avoiding certain statements, you likely increase your chances of receiving fair compensation from the driver who caused the wreck.