Car accidents happen all the time. There are millions of accidents reported across the country annually, and many of them are fatal. While some accidents are less severe than others, there is no such thing as a minor accident. Even an accident in which there is minimal damage to another vehicle could be serious if anyone in either vehicle is injured, and someone might make the decision to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you are in the middle of filling a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident, you might have some questions.
Immediately following the accident, you must call the police to report the accident. You’ll need to speak to the police when they arrive on the scene, and you’ll make a statement. This statement is your version of what happened. You will tell the officer what you were doing when the accident occurred, anything you saw or hear, and what happened after.
You must be honest, and you must not make speculation a part of your statement. If you didn’t see it with your own eyes, do not say it to the officer. For example, if you don’t know what happened when someone hit you, all you say is what you know. Don’t say you think the other driver was on the phone when the accident occurred if you didn’t see it with your own eyes. Statements must be factual, but what happens if you later remember things differently?
I remember differently now that I’ve already made my statement, so what do I do?
Now that your accident is over, the shock has worn off, and the adrenaline in your body has calmed down, you’re remembering the accident with more clarity. Perhaps you remember something you didn’t mention in your statement. Maybe you even remember something contrary to what you said in your statement. It’s not uncommon. If you’re simply adding details to the statement after the fact, you probably won’t hurt your case that much.
As long as the memories you’re recovering following your accident still prove the person who hit you was at fault, they don’t really affect whether you win or lose your case. It’s always important to be honest with your testimony and add to your statement if necessary. It’s never in your best interest to lie.
Speak to Your Attorney
If you remember something that you didn’t remember when you made your testimony or you begin to see it differently, speak to your attorney before you speak to anyone else. Your attorney is the person who is most capable of advising you what to do next. Your attorney will tell you whether you should add to the statement or if you should let it go. For example, if you remember seeing the driver switch seats with the passenger before you were able to call the police, that’s a big statement that must be amended. However, if you remember that the color the shirt the passenger was wearing wasn’t the color you mentioned in your statement, it’s not anything you need to report.
You Can Still Win
If you change your statement after the fact, you can still win your case. Honesty is the best policy, especially if the investigation could prove you left out pertinent details. A judge or jury might be more favorable to your story if you add to it later than if they find out you left something out. They might not believe you simply forgot or didn’t notice a major detail. Honesty is always the best policy, especially if you do remember what happened differently.
Speak to your attorney, and find out what he or she has to say. Your attorney will tell you what to do, how to do it, and they will help you with your new testimony. If you’re not sure what to do and you don’t have an attorney, call a personal injury attorney to help you with your case. They are here to work with you to win your case.
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