After an Accident Watch Your Tongue. The Things You Say Could Be Used Against You.
You are never required to speak to an opposing party’s insurance adjuster without your attorney if you do not wish to. If you do choose to make a statement the following statements can get you into all sorts of trouble. Please avoid them if possible.
1. The accident was my fault.
Never admit fault, and never apologize for the accident. Even if you feel like you should apologize because the accident was obviously your fault, do your best to just say nothing.
The accident may not actually be your fault or it may not be 100 percent at fault. If you admit fault at the scene of the accident, you may forego any defense that you were not at fault for the accident.
2. I will pay for all the damages.
Do not tell the insurance adjuster that you will pay for the damages, If you are talking to an insurance adjuster, fault for the accident is the most likely dispute. Do not offer to give compensation until it has been determined that you do in fact owe compensation to the other party. If you have already stated that you will pay for damages, it will be hard to argue later that you are not liable for damages or that the other party should pay you.
3. I was not paying attention. I was on my phone.
Never admit that you were negligent or doing anything unsafe unless directly asked. Imagine that you are in an accident that is most likely the other party’s fault. If you tell the insurance adjuster that you were texting during the accident, the adjuster could argue that you were partially at fault for the accident.
If asked a direct question, always answer truthfully. Lying may seem like a good idea, but it never is, because if you get caught your credibility could be destroyed, and your case will fall apart.
4. I was drunk, or high.
First, do not operate a vehicle if you are under the influence of any alcohol, prescription drug, controlled substance, or any mind-altering substance. I say this for obvious reasons. It is illegal to drive under the influence. It is also incredibly dangerous.
However, if you were under the influence of something during the accident, I recommend that you speak to an attorney before you admit to the other party’s insurance company that were impaired at the time of the accident.
5. $%$# MORON!!!
Are you rude to anyone you deal with after an accident? Don’t do it. It will get you nowhere. I always advise clients that you get more with honey than you do with vinegar. Insurance adjusters deal with difficult people all day. A kind word and an understanding disposition may go a long way.