Imagine a situation in which you’re driving down a city street, paying close attention to the road and out of nowhere your vehicle is struck. You didn’t see it coming, but you know one thing is for sure: It’s time to take action to protect your health and legal rights.

Depending on the severity of the accident, you should consider the ability to move your vehicle out of traffic and to a safe place, such as a parking lot. At that point, as long as the other driver has stuck around (which they’re required to do by law), there’s a question to answer: Should you talk to this person?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t say too much: If you decide in favor of conversing with the other person, don’t say too much, as you could slip and somehow admit fault. This conversation should revolve around exchanging insurance information. Nothing more.
  • Wait for help to arrive: The best way to protect yourself is to wait for police to arrive before you do anything. This way, there’s an officer at the scene to help with communication and reduce the risk of confrontation. Most people feel much safer once police arrive.
  • Don’t ignore your injuries: If you’re injured in the accident, focus all your attention on obtaining treatment as quickly as possible. Forget about talking to the other person for the time being.

Along with the above, there may come a point when the other person’s insurance company contacts you. This is a tricky situation, as you don’t know what you should and shouldn’t say.

If this happens, politely decline to speak with the person and contact your agent to let them know that you heard from the other insurance company. You are under no legal obligation to talk to this person. Remember, they don’t have your best interests in mind.

The best way to protect yourself is to remain quiet until you better understand the circumstances surrounding the accident, your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect yourself. This way, you don’t have to concern yourself with making a mistake that costs you in the end.