We are taught from a very early age to say “I’m sorry” when we accidentally do something to injury another person. We are also taught to say “I’m sorry” when we do something “wrong.” Offering an apology comes as second nature for many of us; however, saying “I’m sorry” after a car accident can hurt your claim even if you are not responsible for the car accident. Your insurance company knows this; therefore, many companies tell their customers not to admit fault because the company wants to mitigate any liability it may have for the other person’s injuries.
Never Apologize For A Car Accident
Saying “I’m sorry” after a car accident implies that you are apologizing because you are accepting responsibility for cause the accident. Guilt or fault is an essential element in any car accident claim. The driver who is at fault for the accident is responsible for paying the other driver’s damages including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering. Therefore, proving fault is required for you to receive compensation for your injuries.
Even if you believe you are at fault for the car accident, avoid doing anything that will imply fault. You may feel sorry that the other person is injured and you may even feel responsible but you could be wrong. After a car accident, you may be confused, dazed, and upset. In this state of mind, you may believe you caused the accident when other factors prove later you did not. Do not risk your settlement claim by admitting fault at the accident scene.
Under California’s comparative negligence theory, if you are held liable for any percentage of the accident, your compensation will be reduced by that percentage. Therefore, fight the urge to be “polite” and apologize for the accident regardless of your opinion as to fault.
Never admit fault, including saying you are sorry for the accident.
Instead, focus on the steps you need to take to protect your health and your legal rights. Call 911 and wait for the police to arrive. If anyone needs emergency medical assistance, request an ambulance when you call 911.
If you are physically able to do so, take pictures of the accident scene including road debris, vehicles involved in the crash, the sides of the road, and any road signs or traffic signals. Exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver and collect the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses. Otherwise, wait for the police to arrive and avoid discussing the accident with anyone, including someone you call on your cell phone. Remember, people may be able to overhear your conversation. You never know when someone may be using their cell phone to record what you are saying and how you are acting.
Do You Need a Fresno Personal Injury Attorney?
If you have been injured in a car crash, bicycle accident, truck accident, motorcycle crash, or other type of personal injury accident, our attorneys want to help. The party who is at fault for your accident needs to be held liable for your injuries and damages. Our attorneys have extensive experience successfully handling these types of cases.
Contact Torem & Associates by calling 1-800-954-4444 or using our convenient online contact form to schedule your free consultation.