After an automobile accident, saying, “I’m sorry,” unfortunately comes second nature. Even if whatever happened wasn’t our fault, we often mutter the words, “I am sorry” to diffuse the tense situation. While these minor apologies may be polite social niceties, they can cause problems when made after any accident.
Unfortunately, etiquette rules should never be followed in the context of an auto accident. Following such rules could impact your recovery for damages and injuries you may have incurred. For this reason, you should never apologize after an accident. But if you happen to apologize after your accident, you must understand what that could mean for you.
Houston’s Personal Injury Attorney, Walker Texas Lawyer, wants you to know that Texas is an at-fault state. He has helped accident victims from across the state of Texas to recover compensation for injuries. As well as, property damages they are entitled to. With over 40 years of experience, he has seen common mistakes made after an accident. These mistakes can often complicate your fight for compensation. After a motor vehicle accident, Mr. Walker always urges victims to avoid apologizing.
Texas Is An At-Fault State
There are two types of states that exist car accident insurance claims: fault and no-fault, with some hybrids. It is important to know which type of statute or law that the state you live in follows. This allows you to know how to claim compensation for your injuries after an accident.
Texas is an at-fault state. After a car accident in Texas, all involved drivers must determine fault. This can be simple or difficult depending on the circumstances of the accident. Once you understand who caused the accident, you can file an insurance claim with that driver’s insurance company. You will call the insurance company of the driver at fault and report your accident. This includes damages and injuries. The insurance company may ask for documentation. This includes medical bills and repair shop estimates. Then, you or your auto accident attorney may negotiate a settlement.
Texas’ fault laws are the opposite of no-fault laws. In a no-fault state, injured parties will file damage claims with their own insurance companies, regardless of who caused the crash. It will not be necessary to determine or prove fault to obtain compensation in a no-fault state. The drawback of no-fault insurance, however, is that it limits your ability to bring a lawsuit against the party at-fault. Your car insurance premium may also go up after a no-fault claim, despite you not having caused the car accident.
What Should I Say After An Accident?
Completely eliminate the word “sorry” from your vocabulary after a car wreck.
Saying sorry after a wreck could be taken as an admission of guilt, and it will likely be used against you down the road, even if you weren’t at fault.
It’s a tough habit to break for some, but you must avoid apologizing at the scene of an accident.
Even saying you’re sorry to someone who wasn’t involved in the accident can be used against you.
If you’re involved in an accident where you were not at fault, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you with a settlement offer. This first offer is ALWAYS the absolute minimum your claim is worth.
If you have read our blog post before you will remember I state that Insurance companies are not your friend. They are a business, out to make a profit. Your needs are not their needs. They want to settle the claim as quickly as possible for as little as possible.
Don’t ever accept the first claim immediately. You may have medical expenses that will come up throughout your recovery or other unforeseen expenses. This is why I urge you to talk with an attorney that specializes in motor vehicle accident cases.
I’m Not Hurt
Any accident can create adrenaline in your body. This adrenaline can mask pains or injuries that you will eventually feel as a result of the accident.
Just because you feel fine initially, how you feel the next morning might be completely different.
You can tell someone that you don’t need emergency services called. However, you should never say that you are not hurt. This is because you might be and are not aware of it yet. Auto accident injuries can take hours or days to reveal themselves.
Even if you feel fine after your accident, you should still visit a doctor.
If you aren’t sure about something, don’t say anything about it. It’s better to say that you don’t know than to say that you believe or think you know something.
This applies to anything related to your accident, such as the speed you were traveling, the speed the other driver was going, distance assumptions, and other estimates.
Always say you don’t know rather than answering a question by guessing.
Don’t Say Anything
Accidents are always unexpected. They can jolt your system and make you unaware. Afterward, you will be asked a lot of questions and there may be a lot of commotion. However, you can prepare yourself for any accident, by just knowing not to say anything at the time of the accident.
Why is this, you may ask. This is because right after an accident you may get flustered and say something you didn’t mean. You may give an official statement or admit fault for something that you have not processed yet. Once you make these statements, your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company will use them in all future proceedings.
In this blog, we are simply stating what you don’t want to say. NOT saying, “I’m Sorry”, “I Believe”, “I’m Not Hurt”, “I Think”, “I Accept” can help your damage recovery, as well as, your other legal options.
Yes, there are things to do after a motor vehicle accident. Things like document the accident and exchange contact information. I have written a post that discusses what you need to do after an auto accident.
Get An Accident Attorney
After a major accident, I highly recommend getting an accident attorney. They can help you understand and secure your legal options. The laws can be complicated. With Texas being an at-fault state there is a lot to consider. Additionally, as I have stated before insurance companies are not your friend. They will act like they are working on your behalf, but they survive on profit. Contact your personal injury attorney to help you navigate your legal options.