Involved in an Auto Accident? Mum’s the Word at the Crash Scene
April 25th, 2016
Legal Assistance for Victims of Car Crashes in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Areas
There is something about an auto accident that tends to loosen the tongue. Perhaps it’s the sheer exhilaration that one feels when realizing that he or she has survived a significantly traumatic event. Perhaps you’ve actually been injured, but you feel a mountain of weight fly off your shoulders when you see that a loved one with you has come through the crash unscathed.
Whatever the reason, many drivers who have just come through an auto accident do something they will later regret: They start talking without thinking. Relieved that everyone seems more or less fine, they announce to the other driver, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you.”
Many Valid Reasons For “Not Seeing” the Other Car
There could, of course, be many valid reasons why you didn’t see the other car:
- The other driver pulled out of a side street or parking area without warning
- The other driver was driving too fast for conditions
- The other driver ran a red light or stop sign
- The driver of an oncoming car suddenly turned in front of you
- It was dark and the other driver did not have his or her headlines shining
Failure to See Does Not Mean That You Were At-Fault
The fact that you didn’t see the other vehicle does not necessarily equate fault on your part, but your statement, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you,” undermines your position, at least somewhat. The human reaction, “I’m sorry,” can mean a host of different things.
It can, of course, mean “I’m sorry that I was at-fault in causing the accident.”
It can also mean, “I’m sorry that the accident happened,” or “I’m sorry that someone was hurt.”
Suggestions for Conduct at the Crash Scene
Recognizing that logic can fly out the window following a car crash, at least try to do the following:
- Remain as calm as possible.
- Call 911 to notify the police of the accident and get medical assistance if anyone is hurt.
- Avoid, if at all possible, discussing the circumstances of the accident with the other driver or anyone else in the other vehicle or vehicles.
- As far as possible, speak only with the investigating officer. Answer his or her questions, but don’t volunteer information. It goes without saying that the police should be notified immediately.
- Don’t be afraid that you will be cited by the officer. Getting a ticket can be handled later, particularly if you secure the services of an experienced attorney. Talking too much at the scene of the accident can come back to haunt you.
More tips for the scene of a car accident and how to obtain a copy of your crash report can be found on the Rhode Island State Police website here.
Remember the World War II Saying: “Loose Lips Sink Ships!”
Loose lips can also sink personal injury claims. It is better to be remembered as that quiet person at the accident scene than the one who talked too much. Have you or a loved one been injured in an auto accident? If so, you deserve skillful, energetic, and experienced attorneys to help you prepare your case. The injury lawyers at Bottaro Law Firm have the resources to investigate the accident and fight to protect your legal rights. We will pursue your case at no cost until we win. Remember that delay can harm your case. Our experienced legal team is available 24/7 for a free consultation. Give us a call at 866-529-9700, or complete our convenient online contact form.