How To Describe A Car Crash

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Legally reviewed by Eric Feldman on October 14, 2022 Eric Feldman is a member of the 1-800-Injured network.


If you’ve ever been in a car accident, then you know how terrifying it can be. Your heart races, your mind races, and everything seems to happen in slow motion. It’s an experience that you never want to go through again, but unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you ever have to describe a car accident to someone, whether it’s the police or your insurance company, it’s important to be as clear and concise as possible. Avoid making statements that the insurance company or at-fault driver’s legal representation will attempt to twist and use against you.

It’s important to remember during an accident claim that the insurance company is not working to ensure that you get all of the money you deserve. In fact, the insurance company focuses primarily on paying as little as possible while avoiding any additional legal complications. With decades in business and tens of thousands of claims handled, their playbook is pretty thick.

1-800-Injured is a medical and legal referral service that connects accident victims with the resources they need to get their lives back on track. If you’ve been in an accident, don’t go it alone — call 1-800-Injured today for a free consultation with a car accident attorney in your area. When working with a lawyer, you will not need to worry about using the “right” words or phrases when describing your crash to an insurance adjuster. Your lawyer will be able to take the facts that you provide them with and present them to the insurer.

The following are a few important things to remember when describing an accident, whether to a police officer, an insurance adjuster, or an attorney that is not working for you.

Stick To The Facts

When describing an accident, it is important that you only provide the facts as you know them and avoid adding any personal commentary or assumptions. For example, if another driver rear-ended you, you should say that “the other driver hit me from behind” rather than saying, “the other driver was being reckless and not paying attention and hit me.”

The reason is that anything you say can and will be used against you, even if it is not an accurate representation of what happened. For example, if you make the statement that “the other driver was being reckless and not paying attention,” the insurance company could use this to argue that the accident was partially or fully your fault because you were paying attention to the other driver and not your own driving. Even if this is not the case, the insurance company will try to use anything you say to their advantage, so it’s important to be careful about what you say.

Never Admit Fault

Even if you believe that the accident was partially or fully your fault, it is important that you do not admit fault to anyone at the scene of the accident or in subsequent conversations. Once again, anything you say can and will be used against you by the insurance company, so it’s important to avoid making any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of fault.

If the police officer on the scene asks you what happened, you can simply state that you are not sure and would like to speak to your attorney before making any statements. If the other driver or a witness to the accident tries to get you to admit fault, politely decline and again state that you would like to speak to your attorney.

Give a Chronological Account of the Events

When describing the accident to anyone, it is important that you give a chronological account of the events leading up to and including the accident. This means starting from the moment that you first noticed the other driver and ending with the aftermath of the accident.

For example, if you were rear-ended by another driver, you would want to start by describing how you were driving and what you were doing before the other driver hit you. This could include information such as what lane you were in, whether you had your turn signal on, how fast you were going, etc. You would then describe the moment of impact and what happened afterward.

Never Say You Are Unharmed

Even if you walk away from an accident feeling perfectly fine, it is important that you never say that you are uninjured. Many injuries, such as whiplash, can take hours or even days to present symptoms, so it’s important to avoid making any statements about your level of injury at the scene of the accident.

Tell The Truth

At first glance, this is abundantly obvious, but the reality is that we all are inclined to paint ourselves in the best light possible, especially when we feel like we have been wronged. However, it is important to remember that insurance companies and attorneys are trained to spot inconsistencies in statements, which means that if you try to exaggerate or fabricate any details, it will likely come back to bite you later on.

For example, if you try to make it sound like the other driver was going much faster than they actually were, the insurance company could obtain a copy of the police report or witness statements that dispute your version of events. This could lead to problems with your claim later on, so it’s always best to just stick to the facts and avoid any embellishments. This goes back to pointer number one: stick to the facts.

If you provide an entirely facts-based account of the accident without using modifiers or grand verbiage, like saying the other driver was driving quickly instead of saying they came “flying around the corner,”  you are less likely to have any inconsistencies in your story later on.

Hire a Lawyer

These pointers are all essential when describing your accident, but one of the best ways to provide a clear account of your crash is to let an attorney do it for you.

Your lawyer will have experience dealing with insurance companies and will know how to present the facts of your accident in a way that is most advantageous to you and your claim. In addition, a lawyer can handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf, which takes a lot of stress off your shoulders.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact 1-800-Injured to connect with an experienced personal injury attorney today.