What Should I Not Do After a Car Accident?
- Never Admit Fault: Whether you are talking to the other motorist, the police, or your insurance company, never say, “I think it may be partially my fault.” Remember Pennsylvania has a compensatory negligence rule which means if you are deemed to be even partially responsible for an accident, any compensation you would receive will be reduced by the percentage that is considered your fault. Simply say, “I am not sure what happened. I would rather wait until all the facts have been gathered.”
- Never Say You Have Not Been Hurt: Even if you feel fine, many injuries do not manifest until hours, days or even weeks after the accident. Further down, we discuss the symptoms you need to watch out for after an accident. If you are asked how you are feeling, you should always say “I do not know. I want to check with the doctor first.”
- Never Accept a Settlement on the Spot: In some cases, insurance companies will send an adjuster immediately to the accident scene. It is likely at some point they will offer you an immediate settlement. Do not sign any paper until you speak to a car accident lawyer. Simply say, “No, thank you. I prefer to speak to my lawyer first.”
- Never Make a Recorded Statement: You do not have to provide any recorded statements to file an accident report. Making a recorded statement means it can be used against you later if you file a claim.
- Never Answer Questions You Are Not Asked: It is the human tendency to expand and tell stories. Do not assume that just because you get into what seems like a friendly chat with the other driver that they would never use any information you provide to them in a claim against you. The same goes for any conversation with the police officer. Only answer the questions that you are asked directly.