When most people do anything that remotely results in inconvenience to
another person, their first reaction is to apologize. Whether it be mildly
bumping into another person while exiting an elevator or even interrupting
another person’s sentence, saying “I’m sorry”
or “My bad” afterwards is a sign of respect and is generally
regarded as good manners. You can imagine, then, that this gut reaction
must be even stronger after a much more serious event such as a
car accident. Unfortunately, this instinctual apology, while innocent on the surface,
can carry considerable legal weight.
Apologizing Can Be Seen as an Admission of Fault
Any sort of apology after a car accident can potentially be interpreted
by insurance adjusters as an indication that you are admitting responsibility
for the crash, thereby giving them the ability to deny you coverage and
hold you financially responsible for the resulting damages. While it may
seem rude, it is imperative you resist the temptation to apologize at
the scene of an accident, even if you think you were at fault for the
crash. You do not have all of the facts yet, therefore prematurely claiming
responsibility will only hurt you. Watching what you say can oftentimes
be the difference between receiving a fair insurance settlement and a
lengthy legal battle.
Any of the following statements can potentially harm your claim:
- “I did not see you”
- “I wasn’t paying attention”
- “I’m sorry”
Another reactionary statement made by many when asked how they are after
a collision is to say “I’m fine” or “I’m
okay.” These comments can be equally damaging, as some injuries
sustained in car accidents can have delayed symptoms which do not surface
for days or even weeks after. If you indicate that you are alright, however,
you will likely encounter difficulty with the involved insurance companies
obtaining coverage for your medical bills.
What Can I Say At the Scene of an Accident?
Since you will have to speak at the scene of your accident in some capacity,
whether it be to exchange information with the other involved drivers
or to speak to police, it is imperative you choose your words carefully.
Stick to the facts, and avoid “I think” statements. Any ambiguity
or uncertainty in what you say will can potentially come back to bite
you later on. Aside from providing the essential facts to the police and
your insurance company, it is best to avoid discussing your crash with
anyone except your attorney.
Contact Kyle Law Firm Today
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the
New Braunfels personal injury lawyers at Kyle Law Firm today. With more than 60 years of combined legal experience
and a track record millions of dollars secured on our clients’ behalf,
we can guide you step-by-step through the claims process and provide the
support you need to maximize your financial recovery.
Take the first step towards seeking compensation by calling our office
today at (830) 476-7780.