What NOT to Say After a Car Accident in Kansas City

A car accident can be a scary and stressful experience, but it is important to know how to handle these situations to avoid costly issues afterward. Most car accidents will necessitate a call to the police.

If your car crash resulted in injury, death, or significant property damage, someone needs to report it to the police. It’s vital to be very careful of what you say to the police when they arrive, regardless of your perceived level of fault for the accident. Additionally, you must be cautious when speaking to insurance company representatives about any subsequent claims.

If you were recently involved in a car accident, contact a Kansas City car accident lawyer now.

What to Do Immediately Following an Accident

After a car accident, your first priority should be the health and safety of everyone involved, including yourself. Then, if no one already has, call the police. If you sustained serious injuries and it is too painful to move, stay in your vehicle. Otherwise, if you can easily get out and check on the other drivers and passengers involved, do so.

Once you are sure emergency personnel is on the way, try to take a few quick pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, and your injuries if possible. You should also take pictures of the other drivers’ vehicles as well. These pictures can help an insurance adjuster or jury form a more accurate picture of how the accident happened.

Keep a level head when speaking to the other drivers involved in the accident, and do not berate, threaten, or accuse any of the other drivers, even if a driver is clearly at fault for the collision. These actions could come back to haunt you later, and being as cooperative and diplomatic as possible after an accident will make everything go more smoothly.

Speaking to Kansas City Police

When the police arrive, they will help clear the vehicles out of the way of traffic, if necessary, and then question the drivers involved. Answer all of the police officers’ questions concisely and honestly, but do not admit fault. Be careful of your word choice, because the police may misconstrue even seemingly innocent phrases like “I’m sorry” as admissions of fault. Once the police allow you to leave, your next step should be medical treatment. You can visit the police station later to secure a copy of the police report for the accident.

It is imperative that you seek medical care as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you think you only sustained minor cuts and bruises. You may not feel the full force of your injuries at first due to the adrenaline in your system, and you may have sustained internal injuries that you cannot feel yet. Your doctor will identify your injuries and give you an idea of the treatment you will require. This medical report will be crucial for a subsequent insurance claim or lawsuit.

Handling Insurance Companies

Regardless of whether you are filing an insurance claim through your own insurance carrier or an at-fault driver’s insurer, you will have to file an insurance claim sooner or later. The insurer will want to investigate your claim’s validity, and a claim adjuster will verify that your claim falls within the specified policy’s coverage terms.

It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to counter claims with lowball offers or deny justified claims to attempt to avoid paying out on policies, so it’s a good idea to hire a Kansas City personal injury attorney who can draft a letter for you. It’s a good rule of thumb, after a car accident, never to speak to insurance companies until you’ve hired an attorney.

Never provide an official statement to an insurance company until after your attorney has advised you how best to proceed. You should also be careful of your word choice and avoid saying things like “I’m fine,” or “I wasn’t badly injured,” or admitting any type of fault for the incident in question. Never accept an insurance company’s settlement offer until after your attorney has reviewed and approved it.