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What not to say after a car accident

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | motor vehicle accidents, personal injury |

In the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, it is common to feel confused and disoriented. The shock of the event may still be affecting you and clouding your ability to think clearly or respond as you normally would. However, you must be extra careful with what you say to the other driver or anyone who might attempt to talk to you about the crash.

Anything that sounds like an apology

In the moments following a collision, the natural human inclination is to express concern and sympathy. It can lead you to say something as simple as “I’m sorry.” However, these two words carry legal consequences in the context of a car accident. In Maryland, as in many states, an apology can be misconstrued as an admission of fault, potentially compromising your position in any subsequent legal proceedings.

Even if you believe you are just being polite, resist the urge to apologize. Instead, focus on checking the safety of everyone involved and exchanging necessary information, such as names, contact details and insurance information. Keep the conversation factual and direct. Avoid any language that could make it seem like you accept blame for the accident.

Anything that sounds like you did not suffer or incur any damages

If police officers or paramedics arrive after the crash, they will probably ask if you are okay. When they do, you should avoid responding with “I’m fine” or “I’m not hurt.” By claiming you did not suffer any injuries at the scene, you may inadvertently weaken a potential personal injury claim if symptoms arise later. Remain neutral about your physical condition and let interested parties know that you will be seeking a medical evaluation to rule out any potential underlying injuries you may have suffered from the collision.

Anything that sounds like an admission of guilt

You might feel compelled to discuss the incident with the other driver. The problem is that discussing fault or admitting guilt can be detrimental to any claims you may need to file. Maryland operates under a contributory negligence system, meaning that if you are even slightly at fault, you may be unable to recover damages.

Remember, your words are as important as the actions you take after an accident. Be mindful of your statements and promptly get medical and legal assistance to protect your right to seek compensation from the responsible party.

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