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Advice on What NOT to Say or Do After Your Colorado Car Accident

In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s actually best to say as little as possible

Most car accident victims don’t immediately consider the legal impact of a collision. Many involved parties are often shaken or have suffered injuries that take priority. However, there will always be an investigation of some sort when the law enforcement officers and medical technicians arrive.

Medical techs are charged with the responsibility of tending to injured victims, but officers typically begin by conducting an investigation as soon as they evaluate the overall damage and condition of the victims. The investigations always include questioning as many witnesses as possible, and the drivers in particular, who will be asked for their personal accounts of what happened during the impact.

Regardless of the fallout of the incident, it’s imperative for drivers and passengers to be careful when discussing the crash because their statements and actions will be included in the official accident report.

While it’s important to be honest with police, here are four tips on what not to say or do after a car accident.

1. DON’T Argue With Other Drivers

It’s always important to check all vehicles for injured parties, but after identifying potential emergencies it’s best to wait for the officials to arrive before engaging in discussion with other drivers. Not only can tempers flare, but what is said between the drivers can be communicated to the officers by any involved party.

3. DON’T Interrupt Investigating Officers

Police officers are dispatched to accident scenes with a particular protocol in mind. Most officers will want to conduct interviews with all involved parties, including those who merely witnessed the crash. Never attempt to interfere with the officer while questioning others, even if you overhear something that is incorrect. When it is your turn to talk to the officer, make sure you answer their questions directly and honestly.

You should also keep in mind that accident investigations can become criminal investigations. In addition to preparing an official report, the officer who responds to the scene of the accident will be making determinations regarding whether to issue any citations. Both the officer’s report and any citations issued will be used to determine fault in your personal injury claim.

2. DON’T Admit Fault

The investigating officers are looking for information that reflects what happened, and many times that information becomes the basis for determining fault in the crash. Fault is crucial in the settlement of any Colorado auto accident, and any hint of admission such as saying “I’m sorry” could be misconstrued and misinterpreted as an admission of fault.

4. DON’T Contest Other Statements

Being combative at an accident scene is always a bad action. Even though other parties may make statements that you believe are assumptions or even lies, it is best to let your legal counsel address those statements rather than arguing with other drivers at the scene or trying to influence what the officer puts into the accident report.

In fact, when talking to police officers, the best policy is to be brief in your responses, without adding unnecessary information. Yes or no answers are always best, and don’t be afraid to avoid answering any confusing questions until you have asked for clarification or consulted with an attorney.

In addition, when you’ve taken photographs of the accident scene, you don’t need to show the officers. They are your personal property as long as they’re still on your cell phone. Officers will take their own pictures if necessary, and yours should be kept to use when comparative negligence or property damage is being questioned by other litigants.

DO Let a Colorado Car Accident Lawyer Do the Talking For You

Never say too much following an accident and call a car accident attorney as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in such cases, and evidence can fade fast. If necessary, your attorney can always conduct an independent accident investigation on your behalf, and anything you say beforehand cannot be unsaid.

Early statements or admissions of fault are commonly used as a defense by insurance companies and opposing negligent drivers, so be careful what you say.

Remember the attorney you choose can make a major difference in the outcome of your case. In Denver, that difference maker is The Babcock Law Firm. Call today for a free consultation.

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