What Not To Say After a Car Wreck In Arizona
What Mistakes Should You Avoid After a Car Accident In Arizona?
If you’ve been in a car accident, you know that the moments after a collision are usually a confusing blur. You might be worried about the safety of your passengers, concerned about the damage to your vehicle, or coping with your own painful injuries. Although Arizona law requires you to trade information with other drivers, it’s very important to watch what you say so you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your damages later. Even a seemingly innocent statement, such as “I’m sorry,” can be used against you by insurance adjusters or investigators.
Always contact an experienced Mesa car crash injury lawyer immediately after your collision, even before you contact an insurance company to file a claim.
What NOT To Say After a Car Wreck
After any car accident, it’s natural to apologize to the other driver, but that type of statement can be detrimental.
Any of these phrases, or something similar, could make it more difficult for you to seek compensation for damages:
- I’m sorry
- I didn’t see you
- It was my fault
- I apologize
- My bad
- I didn’t realize that…I was speeding, the light was red, there was a stop sign there, and similar statements
- I should have been paying better attention
- I wanted to get through the light
Although these statements may seem courteous or may even be true, anything that could be construed as an admission of negligence or fault could reflect badly on you in the investigation that will follow your accident and could negatively affect your ability to seek compensation for damages later. Consult with your Mesa personal injury attorney for guidance.
When you talk with first responders, keep your statements simple and factual. Do not:
- Share opinions or assumptions
- Blame the other driver
- Admit fault for the accident
If paramedics arrive at the scene of your accident, do not refuse treatment. Allow them to inspect for injuries and follow medical advice. Do not say:
- I’m fine
- It’s not that bad
- I’ll be okay
If you are in pain or suspect an injury, be sure to say so. It can be difficult to prove later that your injuries were actually the result of an accident if you refuse the medical examination or don’t indicate at the time that something seemed wrong.
So, What Should I Say After a Car Accident?
It’s okay to express concern about your injuries or any injuries that another driver may have experienced. In fact, being kind and polite can help alleviate the anger that the other driver may be feeling. Talk with the other drivers to find out whether anyone needs medical attention.
After any collision, Arizona law requires that the accident be reported to the local police department or authority. Once you’ve done so, it’s okay to check on the other people involved in the accident, but it’s best to avoid saying much at the scene. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver and follow the instructions from the police officers who arrive at the scene.
When the police or first responders talk with you, keep your statements simple and factual. The police report is a primary piece of information used by insurance adjusters, your Mesa car crash lawyers, judges, juries, and anyone else who may be involved later, so it’s imperative to avoid admitting fault or voicing opinions. The police will investigate the situation and determine who is liable based on the facts of the situation.
What Should I Say To The Insurance Company?
Report any car accidents to your insurance company, whether you are at fault or not. But you need to remember that insurance companies are businesses that are looking out for their bottom line. This means they will look for any reason to deny your claim and avoid paying out for your damages. This makes it especially important to avoid admitting any fault.
Always consult with your Avondale auto accident injury attorneys before speaking with any insurance agents. Your attorney can provide guidance on what you should say and even communicate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Comparative Negligence In Improperly Secured Load Cases
While some states use the doctrine of contributory negligence, Arizona is a comparative negligence state. The statutory language describing comparative negligence in Arizona can be found in A.R.S. § 12-2501. In a comparative negligence state, an accident victim can collect compensation even if they were partially at fault in creating the accident. Some states may limit at which percentage of fault the plaintiff can still pursue a claim, but Arizona allows a plaintiff up to 99% at fault to seek compensation in a personal injury suit.
There are several ways someone could be partially for an accident caused by another driver’s improperly secured load. The injured driver could be speeding or following too closely behind the load-bearing vehicle. If someone fails to use their headlights or otherwise has reduced visibility while driving, this could also make them partially at fault for an improperly secured load accident for failure to mitigate damages.
Comparative negligence could be a major strategy that the other driver’s insurance company uses to try to reduce your injury award. If your damages are high, increasing your fault by just a few percentage points could save them thousands of dollars. Consider hiring a personal insurance attorney to work to secure your position as an injury claimant, preserving your claim’s value.
What If I Accidentally Admitted Fault?
Accidentally apologizing or admitting fault can make attempts to recover compensation more difficult but not impossible. Like many other states, Arizona has enacted comparative negligence laws. That means that you can still recover compensation if you are found to be less than 50% responsible for the car accident. It’s crucial to work with experienced Glendale auto accident injury attorneys who can negotiate on your behalf, provide legal advice, and represent you throughout the entire process.
Talk With a Leading Car Accident Lawyer In Mesa
Knowing what to say after a car accident can be confusing, so it’s imperative to speak with a respected personal injury lawyer before you talk with any insurance adjusters. The attorneys at Mesa Injury Lawyers specialize in assisting victims of car accidents. Our extensive experience puts us among the best personal injury lawyers in Arizona. Contact us today to schedule your obligation-free, confidential case review.