Accidents are chaotic and overwhelming events and we are often swept away by the weight of the moment, which can sometimes lead to mistakes. People often feel obligated to apologize, regardless if they were at fault or simply a victim caught in an unfortunate situation. However, apologizing for an accident is a critical error that must be avoided, or you could jeopardize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Here is what you should know about the potential effects of apologizing after an accident:
- It might be perceived as an admission of fault: When you apologize to the other driver, it can be viewed as an admission of fault for causing the accident. Even apologizing to the law enforcement who is filing the police report can cause problems for you, especially since it might be recorded in the report, which will ultimately land in the hands of the insurance companies. While your simple apology might not rob you of full compensation, insurance companies will use it against you to possibly reduce your compensation, claiming that you are partially responsible for the accident. You should also refrain from further stating why you are apologizing. Statements like, “I did not see the light change,” following an apology are incredibly damaging.
- You do not know all the facts: Not only are you complicating your personal injury case by apologizing, but you do not have all the facts regarding your case. Even if you believe you did something wrong to contribute to the accident’s occurrence, you might be wrong. Instead of jumping to conclusions, let law enforcement, your personal injury attorney, and the insurance adjusters conduct their investigation. You might not be responsible for the accident at all, so why apologize for it?
- Focus on the important things: Face it – an apology is just words. If someone is injured, an apology will not help, so rather than saying sorry, check on everyone to make sure they are okay and, if they are not, call for emergency medical assistance. Even if no one is injured, you should at least call for law enforcement to ensure a police report is filed. Additionally, you must take some time to exchange information with the other driver (or drivers) involved, including insurance information, license plate numbers, names, addresses, contact information, and more. Clearly, there is a lot to do, so focus on the tasks at hand rather than on offering apologies that will only harm you in the long run.
- Speaking to the insurance adjuster: You must keep in mind that the insurance company is not your friend. They might seem friendly, even helpful, but the primary goal of an insurance adjuster is to ensure you receive little to no compensation at all. An insurance adjuster will likely reach out to you after the accident, particularly since you will be at your most vulnerable state during this time, so keep the conversation short and stick to basic facts. Do not provide a statement and, most importantly, do not apologize for the accident.
Personal Injury Attorney in Orlando
If you were injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to pursue fair compensation. At The Wiseman Law Firm, our Orlando personal injury attorney can help you navigate this process and fight for the maximum recovery you are owed. Backed by over 15 years of proven experience, you can be confident in our ability to represent you.
Contact our office today at (407) 708-9127 to schedule your free consultation.