You're involved in a car accident. You and the other driver are both hurt, though it's nothing life-threatening. As you wait for emergency crews to come, you get out of your car and sit with that driver on the side of the road. You take the time to exchange insurance information and the like.

That's fine, and you absolutely should share the proper information, make sure medical help is on the way, and all the rest. However, there are a few things you should not say after a crash, whether you're talking to the other driver or your insurance company:

That the Accident Was Your Fault

Maybe you're worried that the crash was your fault. You feel badly if you caused the wreck and hurt the other driver. Remember that car accidents happen very quickly. You may not be clear on exactly what occurred. Never say that it was your fault. Instead, let the investigation determine who was at fault without influencing things at all.

You're not trying to be dishonest. You're just acknowledging that there were many factors that you can't know about -- Was the other driver drunk? Was he or she on the phone? -- and you don't want to take the blame instinctively and emotionally.

That You Remember "Facts" You're Not Sure About

Relating the facts, especially to the police and the insurance company, is something you'll eventually have to do. Just make sure they're really facts. Be honest about what you can and can't remember.

For instance, maybe you tried to make the yellow light and you're worried that you ran the red. Don't say that you ran the red. You don't know for sure. Maybe it was still yellow and the other driver left too early; it's not illegal to drive through a yellow light.

Again, it's not about being dishonest. You just don't want to make claims based on what you think happened; base everything you say off of what you know happened.

After the Crash

In many cases, it may be best not to say anything until you know more about your legal options. Though a car crash takes just a split second, the aftermath can be complex, and you need to know how to proceed.

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