Should I Say “Sorry” After An Accident?
Accidents are confusing and chaotic experiences, leaving all parties involved in a state of shock. During this stressful time, it is often easy to make mistakes, but what you do in the aftermath of an accident can set the tone for what happens next and the possibility of obtaining fair compensation for any injuries you sustained. It might feel natural to apologize, even if you are not responsible for the accident, but doing so is a major mistake that can cost you.
HERE ARE SOME REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER APOLOGIZE AFTER AN ACCIDENT:
1. An admission of fault: When you apologize after an accident this can be misconstrued as an admission of fault for the accident. If you say it to a law enforcement officer, it might even be recorded on the police report, which both your insurance company and the provider for the at-fault provider will review, harming your chances at receiving any compensation for injuries or property damage.
2. Evidence of your culpability: An insurance company does not want to pay you a single dime and will do everything to shift the blame from the policyholder to you. Perhaps the apology in itself will not be enough to assign all of the blame to you, but it might be enough to make you partially responsible for it, reducing your compensation by the percentage of blame assigned to you,
3. You do not know the facts: Accidents happen out of the blue, so the fact is that you might not really know exactly what happened. Even if you think you might be partially responsible for it, you cannot accept any blame for certain without a full investigation. Law enforcement, insurance adjusters, and personal injury lawyers are going to look into every facet of the accident, so let them do their jobs before jumping to conclusions.
4. Focus on what is important: Your apologies, no matter how earnest they are, will not do anyone any good. If you really want to help, make sure everyone is safe and call for emergency medical assistance if necessary. You should also take some time to exchange information with everyone who was involved, including passengers. Pictures of the scene will also be immensely helpful.
5. Talking to the insurance company: In all likelihood, an insurance adjuster will attempt to reach out to you shortly after the accident. You do not have to speak with this person if you have legal representation to handle these discussions on your behalf. The less you say to them, the less likely they can turn and twist your words against you.
EXPERIENCED RICHMOND PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
At Halperin Law Center, our Richmond car accident attorneys are backed by over 25 years of experience. If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, reach out to our firm to retain the personalized and effective representation you need that will help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Call us at 804-527-0100 for a free consultation.