Being involved in an accident is an overwhelming and traumatic experience. After all, no one ever expects these incidents to happen. Due to the chaos and frenzy of the moment, however, many often feel confused and scared, causing them to say things that might not make sense. Apologizing is one of the most natural responses after an accident, but if you are not the at-fault driver, taking responsibility for something you did not cause not only makes little sense, but it can ultimately cause some trouble if you pursue a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries and other damages associated with the accident.
Continue reading to learn about the issues that might arise as a result of apologizing at the scene of an accident:
- An admission of fault: The fact is that when someone apologizes, it implies that he or she did something wrong. Therefore, when you apologize at the scene of an accident, it might be perceived as an admission of fault, especially if the officer at the scene includes it in the police report. Both insurance companies are going to receive copies of this report and, given that their main objective is to ensure you get little to no compensation, they will attempt to use your apology against you as an indicator that you were at fault for the accident’s occurrence.
On its own, your apology might not be enough to completely eliminate your chances of obtaining some compensation, but it is very possible that it could result in a reduction if it is determined that you were partially at fault for it. This is especially true if your apology is coupled with further explanation as to why you think the accident happened. For example, if you apologize and try to explain that you did not see the traffic light changed, this can deeply wound your case.
- You do not know the facts: Even if you truly believe you deserve some of the blame for an accident, you do not have all the facts yet. There are several factors that can lead up to an accident, much of which you might not be aware of. Why would you jump at the chance to accept culpability for something that was not your fault? Now is the time to let investigators and your personal injury attorney determine what happened, so do not get in the way of them doing their jobs. If the accident was not your fault and you sustained injuries, there is no reason why you should have to pay for another person’s mistakes by being burdened with hospital bills and lost wages.
- Focus on what is important: After enduring an accident, apologizing might feel like a kind gesture, but if you really want to perform an act of kindness and be helpful, you should first make sure that everyone is okay. Does anyone need immediate medical assistance? Regardless if anyone is injured or not, you should still call the police since you will need them to file a police report. You should also begin exchanging information, taking pictures, asking any witnesses what they saw, and contacting your insurance company. These are just a few of the critical tasks you should perform, so focus your energy on ensuring these necessary steps are taken rather than on apologizing.
- Be careful when you talk to the insurance company: It is also important to be careful what you say to the at-fault party’s insurance company after the accident. They are out to serve the best interests of their employer. Unfortunately, that means they must do what they can to ensure you get nothing and they will lure you into making incriminating statements. Do not apologize for the accident when you speak to the adjuster. Stick to basic facts, including your name and the location and day the accident took place. To avoid making any errors while negotiating with them, seek legal representation as soon as possible. It can make a difference between whether or not you are able to obtain fair and just compensation.
Personal Injury Attorney in Phoenix
If you were recently injured in an accident that was caused by a negligent or careless driver, you should not have to suffer in silence. At the Rafi Law Group, PLLC, our fierce and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys in Phoenix understand how important it is for injured victims to obtain compensation for their injuries and damaged personal property. We will stand up to the insurance company on your behalf. Our firm also understands the importance of being able to focus on recovery, which is why you will not owe us any legal fees until we are able to win your case.
Contact our office today at (623) 300-1151 to schedule your free case evaluation.