Do you tend to have that knee-jerk reaction to apologizing for everything, no matter whose fault things are? It’s something that’s easy to do, especially in an overwhelming situation and in the heat of the moment. What if you’re in a car accident, though? What if the car accident wasn’t even remotely your fault, and you still tell the other driver that you’re sorry? Some of us have that people-pleasing gene in us, and we tend to try to make everything better. Still, your attorney will tell you never to apologize after a crash, but why?
When it comes to a lawsuit regarding a car accident, admitting that the accident was your fault can be a devastating mistake. Even saying the seemingly innocent words “I’m sorry” at the scene of the accident can change the results of your case, no matter who you say it to. Let’s see why you should never apologize after a crash or admit fault to anyone, period.
Never Apologize After a Crash, But Why?
Any apology can determine what kind of compensation you will collect from the driver that was truly at fault. Maybe you said it simply out of the goodness of your heart. It’s how you show concern, right? If you say “sorry,” others may believe that you are saying that you’re sorry for doing something wrong. Maybe they will even take it as your wrongdoing ended up causing the accident. The apology could just be part of what the other driver brings up, or it could even be included in a police report. Either way, it’s important to know that your apology is most likely used against you so that the other party does not have to pay out as much compensation. Kind of a rough deal!
You Don’t Know the Whole Story
While you might think that you know all the factors that went into the car accident you were involved in, the truth is, you only know your part of the story. There could be other things that led up to the accident that you have no idea about. For example, maybe the other driver was distracted by dropping their drink. There could be road construction that the other driver was trying to navigate through. What if the stoplight wasn’t working for the other party, or a road sign that should have been there was missing?
There are dozens and dozens of reasons for a car accident. Apologizing up front makes it look like these other factors weren’t the reason or didn’t influence the other driver. Instead, let the police, insurance companies, and other attorneys work to determine the things that led up to the accident and the real cause. Don’t shortchange yourself by blaming yourself (although not on purpose).
How Insurance Companies Take Apologies
Even though your first inclination may be to apologize and talk to the other driver or even the insurance company about the part you might have played in the accident, do all you can to stop yourself. Whatever you do say or do admit will be analyzed and twisted in any way possible to help build a case for the opposing party.
Not apologizing to insurance companies includes your own insurance company as well. Answer the questions that must be answered but then refer to your personal injury attorney for help in answering other questions or things you’re not sure of. This way, you can feel confident that you are not accidentally hurting your own case.
Things You Can Say Instead of “I’m Sorry”
Instead of pulling out your usual apology for what has happened, instead of saying “sorry,” you can:
1 – Ask the other driver, passengers, or pedestrians if they are okay. Find out if they need some help in the way of an ambulance or medical attention.
2 – If there is no medical attention needed, kindly ask for the other party’s insurance information and contact info.
3 – Call the police so that a report can be filed and take pictures of the accident itself so that you have them to refer to later.
I Already Apologized After My Accident – Now What?
Unfortunately, you were involved in a car crash. You exit your vehicle to make sure the other driver is okay. Maybe they have a broken arm or worse. You search for anything to say to them at the moment as they look at you for a response. The words “I’m sorry” blurt out of your mouth before you even know what’s happening. “Oh no,” you suddenly think. What have I done?
Of course, you are sorry that the accident happened, but did you really need to say that? What do you do at this point? The most important thing to do is document everything you can at the scene. You can’t take back what you said, but later, you can try to prove that you were just trying to show the other driver that you were concerned if it’s mentioned in court.
After everyone has received the medical attention they need, start taking pictures, write down the license plate number, talk to witnesses and gather their contact info. Be sure to speak with the police when they arrive as well so that both sides of the story are included on the official police report.
Don’t Be Sorry About the Car Accident Attorney You Choose
When it comes to being involved in a car accident, hiring a personal injury attorney that you trust will be one thing you won’t ever be sorry about. The team at Wormington & Bollinger will take you through the process of a personal injury lawsuit and be on your side from beginning to end.
What more can you ask for other than a knowledgeable team that has been through the same kind of lawsuit and is ready to help you fight for the compensation you know you deserve. While you now know to never apologize after a crash, there are plenty more things to be aware of in your car accident lawsuit. Contact Wormington & Bollinger today to make a consultation appointment or for more information.