Say Little, Observe Much


 
At the scene of an auto or other vehicular accident, your silence may induce statements by the other driver or by passengers in the other car. People want to talk under these circumstances. Let him apologize to you. When the police or insurance company interviews you later, you can indicate that the other driver apologized. Do not assume that, because you think liability is clear, his insurance company will see it the same way. It is the insurance adjuster's job to find any way possible to get out of paying or to reduce the amount the company must pay by finding some fault on your side. That is what the adjuster is paid to do, and that is what she is going to try to do.
 
Your job is to use whatever is available to you to let the truth be known. One of the truths that would be helpful is that the other side made apologies or some admissions of fault. You, yourself, will say nothing about fault. Nor will you get into a discussion with the other side as to what you saw or didn't see, when you applied your brakes, etc. Don't say a word. Although the natural inclination is to get into a conversation, you will be pleased later if you have disciplined yourself in this respect.
 
Instead, take the time to observe the entire scene and take photos. Go to PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE SCENE If you did not carry a camera in your car, then make notes, or at the very least make mental notes that you can put into writing later on.
 
If you get a chance to look inside the other driver's car, observe whether he had any evidence of work on his seat. Are there papers opened up that he could have been writing on or working on? Is a laptop computer open? Did he have a cell phone out? Is there a half-eaten sandwich open on the seat?
 
Although taking care not to admit anything to anyone, even to witnesses or to passengers in your own car, be sure to make mental or written notes of any comments made by the various witnesses. If there is enough time to jot down something for them to sign, so much the better. If not, get in touch with each of them as soon as practicable after the accident.