Should I Say "Sorry" After An Accident?
Accidents are never an easy time for anyone. In fact, they can be downright scary and many are often left feeling overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated. In the midst of this chaos, people tend to naturally react to these circumstances by apologizing to the other driver, despite not being at fault for the car accident. Unfortunately, as nice as this gesture might seem, saying “sorry” can have terrible consequences when the time comes to secure compensation in a personal injury claim. Instead of apologizing, make sure everyone involved is okay and contact law enforcement.
You might be wondering how and why this simple word can be so detrimental. Read on to learn how apologizing can negatively impact your chances at recovering compensation:
- It can be seen as an admission of fault: When you apologize to another driver, it sounds like you are admitting fault for causing the accident. This can be especially damaging if you say it to a law enforcement officer while they are filling out a police report since it might very well end up on record. When the insurance companies get their hands on the report, they will take full advantage of your apology and argue that it is an admission of fault, even if you were not to blame for the accident.
- It might be treated as evidence of culpability: An insurance provider might use your apology as a way to skirt liability away from their policyholders, placing some of the responsibility on you. Your apology might not be enough to lay the blame entirely on you, but it can be enough to assign a percentage of fault, especially if you further elaborated on your apology by explaining that you did not see the other driver. These are the types of statements that give insurers the ammunition they need to argue that you bear some responsibility for the crash as well, resulting in reduced compensation.
- You are still not aware of all the facts: The truth is that, after an accident, you do not have all the facts regarding the incident and all that led up to it. Even if you think you might have contributed to the crash, you could later find out that the other driver committed some serious infractions that created a domino effect, which eventually caused the crash. Keep this in mind and let law enforcement and your personal injury attorney investigate the case.
- Focus on the important things: After an accident, you should be more concerned with everyone’s safety and whether or not any emergency medical attention is necessary. Instead of being concerned with apologies, call law enforcement. Even if emergency medical assistance is unnecessary, you will still need an officer to fill out a police report. You should also take this time to collect as much information as possible. Apologies will not help anyone, so stay focused on what is important.
- Be careful when talking to insurance companies: An insurance company’s primary goal is to ensure you receive as little compensation as possible. If an insurance adjuster contacts you after the accident, keep in mind that you are not obligated to speak to them if you have legal representation who can do this on your behalf. However, if you do speak with the insurance adjuster, try to eliminate the word “sorry” from your vocabulary and do not allow them to lure you into making statements that can later be turned against you.
Experienced Augusta Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one was injured in a preventable accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another party, you may be eligible for compensation. At Jackson Law Offices, P.C., our Augusta legal team has more than 40 years of combined experience and is equipped with the knowledge and resources to take on a wide array of different personal injury claims to craft a compelling case on behalf of our clients. Many injury victims often face mounting medical bills, lost wages, and even loss of work. You should not have to bear the burden of someone else’s mistakes.
For personalized, vigilant service and award-winning representation, contact our Augusta personal injury attorneys today. We provide free, no-obligation case evaluations.