It is a natural reaction for many people who unexpectedly find themselves bumping into one another to apologize and tell the other person they’re sorry – even if it wasn’t their fault. While these minor apologies may be polite social niceties, they can become big problems when they are made after a motor vehicle accident. That’s because saying you’re sorry can have negative consequences in any personal injury case you choose to pursue.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our Houston personal injury lawyers handle many car accident cases involving victims across Texas. Because we have seen the common mistakes victims make, and how those mistakes can complicate their fight for compensation, we always urge victims to avoid apologizing, saying sorry, and even discussing the accident with other involved parties after a crash. Here are a few reasons why:
- Acceptance of fault – Some people may apologize after a car accident because they feel as if they did in fact cause an accident. Unfortunately, drivers don’t know what the other parties in their accident were doing at the time of a crash. Even if you feel you were at fault, there are facts and circumstances you simply do not know about – circumstances that could have caused or contributed to your wreck. For example, the other driver could have been distracted at the time of your crash or could have been driving under the influence. Because you don’t know what’s taken place, you should never accept fault.
- Misinterpretation – Saying you are sorry is a common reaction to confrontations and unexpected incidents, but that doesn’t mean you are accepting blame. Unfortunately, that is exactly what an apology can be interpreted as. When speaking with the other parties involved or discussing the wreck with a responding law enforcement officer, your apology puts you at risks for reshaping the event, and leading others to believe you accept blame, even if you were not at fault.
- Insurance company tactics – One of the most important reasons to avoid apologizing after an auto accident is because it provides insurance companies with the firepower they need to dispute, deny, or underpay your personal injury claim. When insurance companies have evidence you apologized, they can aggressively highlight this as proof that you were at fault. Insurance companies do everything possible to pay as little as possible to victims, or deny their claims entirely. Don’t give them anything they can use against you.
Our attorneys at The Daspit Law Firm provide these tips to help clients when the unexpected happens. Even if you feel you made a mistake by apologizing or saying something you wish you didn’t, you still have rights to pursue compensation for your damages when they were caused by someone else’s negligence. To protect those rights and fight for the compensation you deserve, you should be intent on working with proven lawyers.
Contact us 24/7 for a free consultation.