The immediate aftermath of a New York motor vehicle collision is often chaotic and stressful, not only for those directly involved in the incident but also for rescue workers, witnesses and family members of anyone who might have suffered injuries. Most people understand the importance of trying to remain calm, so that everyone who was involved in the collision can obtain swift and appropriate care. However, there are certain things that a person should not do if a car accident occurs.
Knowing what not to do after a car accident is important, especially if a recovering victim later decides to file a personal injury claim in a civil court. State law allows such claims when someone has suffered damages because of another driver’s negligence or reckless behavior behind the wheel. If a person does any of the things mentioned in the following sections, it could have a negative impact on the ultimate outcome of court proceedings.
Do not apologize at the scene of a car accident
If a person who was involved in a collision offers an apology to the driver of the other vehicle, anyone within hearing distance is likely to interpret it as an admission of fault. When statements are compiled during an investigation or insurance claims adjustment process, a statement of apology could affect the case. It is appropriate to inquire whether anyone has suffered injuries (although not all injuries are immediately noticeable). Beyond that, however, it is a bad idea to make personal comments of any kind.
Never share post-collision details or photos online
Social media content may be accessible to insurance agencies, investigators or others who may be trying to use such information to deny fault or lower the payout of a claim that has been filed following a car accident. If a person posts a picture of a damaged vehicle with a caption that says something like ”Walked away without a scratch,” and the same person then files a personal injury claim in civil court, the social media content could work against the plaintiff in court. Anyone who is considering whether to file a legal claim may seek guidance and support from a New York personal injury attorney.