The moments after a vehicle accident can be confusing. Your adrenaline is kicked in, and your mind is racing trying to process it all. When the other driver is at fault it can be difficult not to tell your side of the story as soon as possible. After all, you were obeying all the traffic rules! While it is tempting, the best thing you can do is wait.
According to the National Safety Council, 4.4 million people were injured and required medical attention from vehicle crashes in 2019. Attending medical needs of passengers or yourself should be the first priority after an accident. Getting yourself safely out of the roadway is also important. After an accident you will most likely have to speak with the driver of the other vehicle, a police officer, and an insurance adjuster. It’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t say to all three of those people.
What you SHOULD and SHOULDN’T say to the other driver:
It’s necessary to exchange certain information with the driver or drivers involved in the accident. You SHOULD share the following:
- Full name
- Contact information
- Insurance company and policy number
- Drivers license number
- License plate number
- Make, model, and color of vehicle
Once you have shared information with each other, you SHOULDN’T discuss the accident or the events leading up to it with the other person. Especially avoid discussing who is at fault, even if you are innocent!
What you SHOULD and SHOULDN’T say to the police:
It is very important to answer the police officer’s questions honestly. However, you must keep in mind that anything you say could end up in the police report, which would be seen by the insurance adjuster. With this in mind, you SHOULD stick to the facts when answering questions. Tell the officer what you were doing prior to the accident, what the other driver was doing, and how the accident occurred.
What you SHOULD and SHOULDN’T say to the insurance adjuster:
It can be hard to remember that insurance adjusters are primarily concerned with their company paying the least amount possible and not necessarily with you receiving a payment that you deserve. You SHOULD give all the facts of the incident as you best remember them without adding opinion statements. If you are uncertain of something it’s okay to say, “I don’t know.”
You SHOULDN’T immediately declare that you were not injured in an accident. Some injuries may take awhile to manifest. You should also not agree to participate in a recorded statement without first consulting legal counsel. Lastly, do not be quick to accept a monetary offer without legal representation.
Call The James Law Firm
Even with your best effort to drive safely, accidents can still happen. The James Law Firm has the experience, compassion, and knowledge needed to tackle even the most complex vehicular accident cases. If you’re a victim of a collision and have been injured anywhere in Iowa, don’t hesitate to call us today at 515-246-8484. We represent clients in Des Moines, Davenport/Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, and more. We will travel to help you!