It is natural to feel shaken after another vehicle hits yours while you are driving. If the other driver seems friendly and even apologetic, you might feel free to openly discuss your current situation, like any injuries you may have. However, you should be careful what to say about your condition.
Problems may arise later if you want to file an injury claim. You probably already know not to take responsibility or to apologize for any part in causing the accident. Still, you may damage your case by making other comments about your state of health at an accident scene.
When comments could backfire
To take one possible situation, the other driver may ask if you are all right. You don’t have any bruising but maybe a little pain. You talk about how you feel to the other driver. But later on, you feel worse. You may go to the doctor for a diagnosis and a course of treatment. The problem is that the legal counsel representing the other driver could use your earlier discussion at the accident scene against you if you seek damages for your injury.
This is a trap that is easy to fall into. If someone asks if you are okay, you feel obliged to answer frankly. But as U.S. News and World Report explains, it is better to exercise caution when dealing with a personal injury situation. Instead of talking about how you feel, you may point out that your doctor will be better able to judge your current state.
Symptoms may manifest later
Remember that not all injury symptoms show up immediately after a crash. A rush of adrenaline can mask sensations of pain. Injuries can also progress over time. Muscle or nerve injuries can worsen with the passing of hours or days. It may take that long to experience pain, impairments of your senses or problems with motor functions.
How you feel shortly after an accident may not indicate how you will feel later that day or in future days. If you refrain from making definitive statements about your post-crash condition, it could improve your chances of prevailing in an injury claim.