If you have just experienced a car accident, many thoughts might be racing through your mind, including what you could have done differently to avoid the accident.
Regardless of how you feel, you must be careful what you say, because how you behave after the accident can directly affect your ability to receive personal injury compensation.
North Carolina is one of the few states that follows a contributory negligence policy for car accidents.
Under the contributory negligence law, you can not collect damages for a car accident injury if the defense can prove you are at fault in any way. The smallest mistake on your part might be enough for you to lose your case, even if the other driver is mostly at fault.
Avoiding admissions of fault
Be mindful of your words in the moments following a crash.
Resist the urge to apologize to the other driver
This is not the time for politeness. Even a simple “I’m sorry” can harm your case.
Be careful when speaking to the police
When giving your statement, avoid expressing remorse or making self-incriminating remarks, such as:
- I did not see him
- I should have slowed down
- I was not looking
- I did not see the stop sign
Stick to the objective facts of the incident.
Keep it off social media
Avoid posting about the accident on social media. If you need to work through your feelings about the accident, do so with a counselor or your lawyer, not in a public forum.
Once you admit fault for a car accident, it is difficult to recant your statement. Choose your words carefully to avoid a costly mistake.