For many people, it is a natural reaction to apologize after any type of
incident involving contact between two people. While it may be a nice
gesture when you accidentally bump into someone on the street or step
on someone’s foot, it is not the most appropriate thing to do following a
car accident. In fact, apologizing after a crash can potentially harm your case and
your ability to recover financial compensation for any injuries and damages
you suffered. Why? Because saying sorry can be taken as admitting fault,
or responsibility, for the accident. This is why our legal team at Caputo
& Van Der Walde LLP generally recommends that anyone involved in an
auto accident avoid saying “I’m sorry.”
Because what you say after a crash can impact your personal injury case,
and potentially affect your ability to recover the full compensation you
deserve, we’ve devoted this blog to educating local residents about
why it is best to avoid apologizing immediately following an auto accident
of any degree, even a fender bender.
How Apologizing Could Hurt Your Case
While it may be natural to say “sorry,” it can very well be
a mistake when it comes to your personal injury case. Below are a few
By saying “sorry,” you’re unintentionally giving the
insurance company permission to view your statement as an admission of fault, or at least contribution, to the accident. Insurance companies will look
for any way to make money and avoid paying out a claim. When you say “sorry,”
the other party’s insurance company may argue that such an “admission”
shields their policyholder from any fault or liability, thus avoiding
the need to pay claims for your damages. Rather than apologizing after
a crash, make sure medical aid is called (if needed), and collect as much
information as you can from all parties and witnesses involved.
Apologizing can be used against you. Any form of apology or statement that makes it seem as if you are apologizing
can be used against you. You should never make these statements to anyone,
including other involved parties, witnesses, or law enforcement officers
that arrive on the scene to compile a police report. By avoiding apologies,
the insurance company will have less “ammo” to use against
you when they try to avoid liability.
Just like apologizing, discussing fault can lead to statements that may
be misinterpreted or used against you, even if they turn out to be untrue. Remember, you may not have all the
facts surrounding the accident, which makes it impossible for you to know
who is truly at fault. It is best to leave investigations to police, insurance
adjusters, and the attorney you choose to guide you through the personal
injury claims process.
Whether you apologized at the scene of the accident or made statements
you wish you hadn’t, don’t wait to bring your case to the
attention of an attorney. At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, we are here
to help you investigate your accident and determine who is at fault. Contacting
a lawyer from our firm as soon as possible after the crash will help ensure
you remain protected against insurance company tactics that include using
own words against you.
Contact us today for a free review of your case.