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Ten things NOT to say after a car accident

FREAKOUT-T.JPGYou could be the calmest person in the world, but when you are in a car crash, especially if you are injured, you will forget things. Here is a list of things to avoid saying at the crash scene and in the days that follow:

  1. DON'T freak out. This may be the hardest thing to avoid. You have been in a violent collision. You are likely in some degree of shock. Your thoughts and heartbeat are racing. Take a deep breath, and try to get your act together.
  2. DON'T blow your top. You've just been in an accident. Road rage will only make matters worse. If you act like a maniac, it will almost certainly be held against you.
  3. DON'T blab. It is better in this situation to say a little than a lot. What you tell others may be used against you later.
  4. DON'T discuss fault with the other driver. Fault will be determined in the days and weeks to come.
  5. DON'T apologize. You may be a good person, but it is a truly bad idea to admit to fault. And the crash may be more complicated than you realize.
  1. DON'T leave the scene. You need to stick around to swap information and talk with police. The only exception is when you are injured and need immediate help. Especially, don't drive away out of fear. A good idea is to ask the police if they anything more from you before you leave.
  2. DON'T procrastinate. When you get home, call your insurance agent. This may be even more important than seeing a doctor, depending on the seriousness of your injuries.
  3. DON'T forget to collect evidence. Photos of the scene, and of you and your injuries, will be valuable later.
  4. DON'T get chatty with the claims adjuster. You can harm your case just by responding "I'm fine" to "How are you doing?" This part isn't easy, so you need to show discipline. Talk to us before you talk to them.
  5. DON'T talk about your accident with others. If you tell your neighbor you plan to cash in on the accident, that can be twisted by investigators to make you sound really bad.

These are just a few of the common mistakes people make. There are many more. The best course of action, at every step of this process, is to let your lawyer do the talking. You've already been hurt once in the accident. Don't hurt yourself a second time by saying the wrong thing.

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