A car accident can be an overwhelming experience. Right after the accident, you might feel shaken, frustrated or disoriented. Often, people feel the need to apologize even if the accident was not their fault. Some will say “I’m sorry” because they don’t know what else to say in an uncomfortable situation. Others may say “I am sorry” simply to express sympathy or concern. Right after an accident you may see that the other driver is hurt. Like any good Southerner, you go over and instinctively say, “I am soooooo sorry, are you alright, do you need an ambulance?” This simple gesture can jeopardize your chances of obtaining fair compensation. Especially, if you were not at fault but the other driver was. Never apologize after a car crash.
How can apologizing be viewed:
- It can be viewed as an admission of fault. You must always be aware that the other driver or anyone else you talk with like a police officer can make a record of your conversation containing an apology. This is a record that the insurance company will see and use against you. Remember the goal of the insurance company is to keep you from obtaining the compensation you deserve. They can use this apology as evidence to show your culpability. While it may not be enough to deny you compensation, it can very well be a basis for reducing it.
- You don’t fully know the cause of the accident. You should never express or admit fault for an accident even if you think you know all facts. There are lots of potential situations and factors at play that you probably are not aware of. Allow law enforcement and your personal injury attorney to do their jobs.
- Focus on the important things. Sure, we all believe that saying I am sorry is an act of kindness, however, it does not help anyone. Instead, you should ask if everyone is okay or if anyone may need medical assistance. Then take the time to exchange information such as driver’s licenses, license plate numbers, insurance information. Also, take as many pictures as possible. View our article on what you need to do in case you are in a car accident.
How Insurance Companies Use Apologies
The first thing to remember is regardless of how the insurance company treats you, they are not in the business of paying out claims. The insurance company is looking for any evidence to remove fault from its policyholder. An apology by the other driver is like striking a goldmine for an insurance company. They are quick to use this as an admission of your guilt. Then deny any claim you may have against their policyholder. This is why you never apologize after a car crash.
If the other party apologizes, make sure to note this and tell your insurance company. You should also tell your legal team as it can be a factor in proving liability.
While feeling empathy for the other party is reasonable in an accident, you should avoid saying, “I am sorry” at all costs. Saying “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you there” can jeopardize your ability to pursue compensation. Even if the other party may actually be at fault. These two statements alone may be enough to give the other driver’s insurance company leverage to deny your claim.
Need an Attorney After a Crash?
If you were recently injured in a car accident, you will need an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney on your side. Walker Texas Lawyer, has the resources and skills to help you obtain the fair compensation you deserve. You need compensation for your pain, suffering, and financial losses. With over 35 years of experience, he knows and understands how to handle an accident claim. If he cannot get you compensation for your claim, you will not owe him any legal fees.