When you are involved in a traffic accident, it is easy to be overwhelmed, frightened and confused. While in this state of mind, you could say something that might negatively impact your ability to recover compensation from the driver who caused the crash. You must be cautious about what you say at the accident scene and in the days following the crash, especially to anyone who was involved in the accident. Your statement should be carefully framed to avoid saying anything that could be used against you later in your case.
A common mistake made by many accident victims is saying “I’m sorry” or something like that phrase at the accident scene. Whether you believe you are simply being polite or you mean something other than “I am guilty” or “I caused the accident” by saying you are sorry, saying you are sorry could have serious ramifications for an injury claim you might file in the future.
You Do Not Have to Apologize for a Car Accident
Many people feel compelled to apologize for a car accident. However, even if you did cause the crash, you are not under an obligation to offer an apology or an explanation. We have been taught since we were young that we should apologize if we do something to injure another person. A car accident is an expectation — it is okay for you to withhold an apology. In fact, it is in your best interest to refrain from talking to anyone at the accident scene except for the police. You do not need to be rude, but you do not need to attempt to make small talk while waiting for the police to arrive at the accident scene.
The word “sorry” is often interpreted to be an admission of fault. You are apologizing for something you did or did not do. In a car accident case, your apology can be interpreted as an admission of negligence. The insurance company for the other driver will seize upon your words to shift liability from its policyholder to you. Remember, the insurance company is looking to protect its best interest. If it can use your words to deny a claim, then it will do so.
Therefore, avoid saying you are sorry or anything similar to that sentiment after a car accident. You should also avoid speaking with the insurance adjuster for the other driver or providing any statement to the insurance company until you consult with a New Orleans car accident attorney. Your attorney will help you avoid making mistakes that can jeopardize your ability to recover compensation for your claim.
Call a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
If you have questions about a car accident claim, contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free case review. You may reach your office by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.
Let our personal injury attorneys protect your legal rights as they guide you through each step in the claims process. You do not need to do this alone. We can help you seek justice from the negligent driver who caused your injury.