No one ever plans on getting into a car accident, so when one happens, it can result in a stressful situation that leads people to make emotional, snap decisions. But if you do find yourself in this situation, it's important to choose your words and actions carefully in order to protect yourself in a court of law. Here's what not to do and say in the immediate aftermath of a car crash.
Don't Say You're Sorry
If you know you caused the accident, it might seem like the right thing to do to apologize to the other driver that was involved. While this is correct from a moral standpoint, your excellent morals could end up getting you in trouble in court. An apology can be viewed in a court of law as an admission of guilt. Even if you do feel bad about what happened, do not apologize or admit fault. If the other driver wakes up the next morning with a sore neck and decides to sue, your statements can and will be used against you.
Don't Drive Away Without a Police Report
Any time you are in an accident where there is any amount of property damage or bodily injury, you need to contact the police and get an official report on the accident filed. If you know you are not at fault for the accident, the police report can help back up your version of events. But even if you feel like you were responsible, a police report is still a good idea because it will provide an official account of what happened and may prevent the other party from trying to embellish their story later on in the courtroom.
Don't Leave the Scene Without Photographing the Vehicles Involved
What often ends up happening in court when two parties are fighting over a car accident is that it becomes one person's word against the other. But you have an opportunity to make your case stronger if you have a smartphone with you at the time of the accident. Take photographs of your vehicle as well as the other party's vehicle. You want to be able to give an accurate portrayal in court about what happened and the best way to do that is to provide photos that can directly show the scene to the judge or jury.
If you find yourself at the scene of a car accident, be careful about what you do and say when interacting with the other driver. If things escalate and you find yourself facing the possibility of a lawsuit, contact a local car accident lawyer immediately.