Do You Know What to Say – And What Not to Say – After a Car Accident in California?
Regardless of how safely you drive and how carefully you try to ensure you are not involved in a car accident in California, your chances will never be zero. As a result, it is important to know what you should say after an accident – and what not to say. Contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 now if you require a free legal consultation or simply keep reading to get the facts.
The Importance of Not Saying Too Much
If you know that you were not at fault for the accident, there is evidence to support that, and there were witnesses who saw the accident, then you might assume that it does not matter what you say. If the case is a slam dunk, how could you say anything to affect that? Unfortunately, it is much more complicated than that.
Saying the wrong thing can make you legally vulnerable. For example, if you tell another involved party that you are sorry, even if you only mean that you are sorry they suffered an injury, that can be twisted to “prove” that you are taking responsibility for the accident.
What to Say
That said, there are a few things you do need to say, primarily because you need to gather information at the scene. You should ask questions to get the following facts:
- The name of the driver
- Their insurance information
- Their contact information
- Vehicle registration numbers of all involved parties
- Contact information for witnesses
You will also need to provide some information yourself in order to follow the law. You should give them the same information you are asking for – your name, contact information, insurance information, and vehicle information.
What Not to Say
Do not discuss your injuries with anyone at the scene except a paramedic. All too often, a person will tell the other involved driver(s) that they feel fine, only to later discover that they suffered an injury after all. The insurance attorney can then use the initial statement of “feeling fine” in an attempt to prove that the injuries are not valid.
Speaking of the insurance company and their attorney, you can bet that they will try to get you to make a recorded statement. They will likely tell you that it is a “simple” process and that it is just a formality. Do not fall for it. You are not required to make a recorded statement in most cases.
Instead, tell them that they should contact your attorney. If you do not yet have a personal injury attorney, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.