Are You OK? What NOT to Answer After an Accident


One of the biggest mistakes people make in the aftermath of an auto accident is to insist they are fine. Understandably, after the sudden shock of the crash and the realization of what has just occurred, accident victims are often simply thankful they survived — especially if they incurred little or no observable injury.

With no broken bones or major wounds, they may be eager to just brush themselves off and put the unfortunate incident behind them. Or perhaps they feel embarrassed and don’t want to make a scene or attract attention to themselves. Or maybe the prospect of spending the next several hours of their life in a hospital emergency room makes them want to run away on their — see? — perfectly uninjured legs. Or perhaps, it is only that they want to be fine and hope that by saying so, they can make it so.

Whatever the reason, this is really no time to play Mr. or Ms. Indestructible. The reasons for this are both medical and legal. According to, even low-velocity car accidents can result in significant damage to the neck, spine, muscles and ligaments. Specific symptoms may not develop immediately. It is common to wake up the day after an accident experiencing headaches, dizziness, problems with vision, ringing in the ears, heaviness in the arms, or pain in the lower back or shoulders, all of which can be symptoms of more serious injury.

But if everyone at the scene of your accident the night before — witnesses, police, first responders and the driver of the other vehicle — heard you trumpeting that you were feeling just peachy (and it is probably documented in the police report), any lawsuit you may decide to pursue will have gotten off on the wrong ¾ and possibly injured ¾ foot.

The best way to protect yourself, both medically and legally, if you experience any immediate discomfort or pain, is to take that ride in the ambulance and get yourself checked out by a physician. Emergency room doctors are experienced at finding and diagnosing injuries that may not cause symptoms for several days. You can begin to get treatment immediately. And having documentation can help your auto accident attorney to formulate a strong case for claiming full compensation for your injuries. If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Maryland car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. immediately.