Accidents are traumatic events, and many people want to share what happened to them with others. However, as experienced personal injury attorneys, we need to urge caution. Anything you say about the accident and/or your injuries can be used against you later, say in a settlement negotiation or in a personal injury lawsuit. When you are feeling pain and anger from the accident, it is very easy to let something slip that isn’t entirely accurate. And it will be hard to walk that information back later.
Below, we explain when and how you can talk about the accident with other people. As a general rule, the less said the better.
Yes. They need to know what happened. If you were in a car crash, talk to the officer about how the event unfolded. Some accidents are crimes, and the police need information to help them decide whether to arrest someone. Always be truthful to the police.
Of course. Your spouse can’t be compelled to testify against you in a lawsuit without your permission, so anything you tell him or her should remain confidential. (NRS 49.295) However, ask your spouse to keep the information you discuss private. There is no reason for him or her to go to a restaurant and share details about what happened to you.
Although you can tell your spouse, you should probably not share details with other relatives, like your siblings. Of course, you can acknowledge you were in an accident and that you suffered injuries. You can even talk about how much pain you are in. But there’s no reason to try and “relive” the accident for the benefit of other people.
Yes. Under NRS 49.225, your communications with your doctor are confidential. Also, your doctor needs to know what happened so that you can receive proper treatment. Tell your doctor how you were injured, e.g., “I tripped and fell and hit my head on a desk.”
Admittedly, you probably won’t share all the details of the accident with your doctor. If you didn’t use a turn signal when approaching an intersection, your doctor probably doesn’t need to know. He or she needs to know just enough to treat you. Remember to answer your doc’s questions truthfully and fully, but you don’t need to volunteer information.
Here is where we definitely draw a hard line. Social media is the worst place to put up any information about the accident. In fact, we recommend you probably stop using social media entirely until your case is settled.
Why? For one thing, anyone can access a profile that isn’t private. Even a private profile won’t protect information. Some insurance companies are known for sending you friend requests so they can get access to what you have posted.
Second, it is very easy to post something on social media that could impact your case. For example, you might upload pictures from a trip to Montana. The insurance company can use these pictures to argue that you left Nevada, so you must not be as injured as you claim. Or you could post a picture of yourself smiling at a birthday party, which the insurer also uses to cast doubt that you were really injured in the crash.
Here is what we recommend you do:
As you can probably guess, adjusters are exactly the people who will be digging for information to use against you in a settlement negotiation, so the less said to them the better. Adjusters can also call at inconvenient times, asking for a recorded statement. There might be a point in time when you tell the adjuster your version of events, but you should have an attorney with you who can clear up any confusion.
Obtaining compensation for your injuries is difficult, but the right lawyer can streamline the process considerably. At Ladah Law, our experienced personal injury attorneys have helped countless people receive compensation after being in a personal injury accident.
Please call us today, 702-252-0055, to schedule your complimentary consultation.