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Florence South Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

What you say can hurt you after a South Carolina crash

People who experience something unexpected often process the matter verbally. They talk to others to make sense of what just happened. For example, after a car crash in South Carolina, people may discuss the collision with the other driver involved or any passengers in their vehicle.

They may also have to go over the situation with police officers responding to the scene of the crash and then later with insurance professionals. When someone knows they were not to blame for a crash, they may feel comfortable talking at length with others about the incident, possibly because they fail to recognize how doing so might negatively impact their rights later.

Small verbal mistakes can lead to big consequences

One of the most common mistakes that people make after a car crash involves giving into the impulse to apologize. Many people will say that they are sorry for a matter that they are not at fault for out of politeness. Apologizing to anyone, including the other driver or the police officer responding to the crash, could end up looking like an admission of at least partial fault, which in turn might influence someone’s ability to seek insurance compensation or file a lawsuit later.

Additionally, people need to understand that insurance professionals seek to protect the company ahead of policyholders and claimants. They want to adhere to state requirements for claims but will try to manipulate or trick people into saying something that can impact how much the company must pay. Many drivers who know they are not to blame for a crash sit down to talk about the collision with the police officer or an insurance adjuster.

They believe that they will simply tell their version of events and then move forward with their claim for compensation. However, admitting to minor mistakes could make it look like someone was at fault for a crash. Insurance adjusters may also ask someone questions repeatedly to get them to contradict themselves, which will make them look unreliable or possibly like a liar.

What someone says to the police can be an issue as well. Police officers are often neutral parties after collisions, but they may report everything that someone says. The other driver or the insurance company could potentially use details included in the police report or in statements made to officers as a justification for fighting someone’s request for compensation.

Those involved in a crash who anticipate sizable financial losses have the right to work with an attorney to protect themselves. Ultimately, seeking legal guidance and learning more about how small details can have a big impact on someone’s finances after a crash may benefit those who deserve compensation following a collision.