"Everything You Say Can Be Used Against You in Court..."
"I'm so sorry." "Oh, I didn't mean to do that." "Wow, I didn't see you coming. Are you ok?" These innocent statements of polite well-meaning are anything but innocent when a motor vehicle accident occurs. In fact, they can be interpreted and considered an admission of fault for causing the collision. Because your words and actions can be used against you by the other party's insurance provider and accident injury attorney, the less you say, the better. More importantly, make sure that what you say can't be used to shift the fault of a collision squarely upon your shoulders.
Words and Phrases to Avoid
We're sorry to say that the first thing to go out the window in a motor vehicle accident is "I"m sorry." Similarly, "I apologize for hitting you," or "I didn't see you," should stay tucked in the glove box. Your auto injury attorney will tell you that any "I" words or phrases that convey regret, remorse, or penance are phrases that can cost you big time in court. While Texan hospitality and courtesy are legendary, motor vehicle accidents are one of the few times where simple one-word answers and silent refusals are entirely acceptable.
"Keep It Simple Stupid" (KISS)
KISS is the cornerstone of a solid presentation. Tell them what they need to know, and that's it. You are not obligated to engage the other party in conversation, argument, or discourse of any kind. In fact, if you want to refuse to speak with them until the police respond, you are within your rights to refuse all conversations and requests for your personal information. This can be conveyed via the police if you so desire. Whatever you do, do not say or do anything that the other party can record or otherwise use against you in court.
"Yes, No, I Don't Know"
It is absolutely acceptable to keep your answers to questions as short and simple as possible. Are you hurt? "Yes." "Were you speeding?" "No." What were you doing that caused the accident?" "I don't know." Remember, in addition to providing your personal information and insurance, then yes, no, and I don't know are all you need to say.
Do you have questions about motor vehicle accidents in Texas? Contact the team at Welmaker Injury Law at (210) 828-6033 to schedule a consultation with a motor vehicle accident injury attorney in San Antonio.