Apologizing after a car accident is instinctual for many people, whether or not they were at fault for the accident. Though it may not seem like a big deal, apologizing can have a big impact on your ability to gain damages. If you say sorry after an accident, this could be interpreted as you admitting fault for the crash. This can be used as evidence in a personal injury case and prevent you from earning the compensation you deserve.
If you are involved in a car accident, it’s better to ensure everyone is okay and get in touch with a car accident attorney after the police have been contacted.
How Saying Sorry Can Hurt Your Case
Apologies can be used against you in several ways after a car accident, including:
- By Insurance Providers
Insurance providers have a main goal to protect their bottom line and save money. This means they look for any way out of paying you the damages you deserve. When you work with an attorney, they can handle communications with the insurance provider for you and argue for fair compensation.
However, if you apologized at the accident site, this may be used to prove you had some fault in the accident. The other driver could report that you apologized, and the insurance provider could claim they have no liability and, therefore, don’t need to pay your damages.
- Against Your Personal Injury Claim
If you need to file a personal injury claim for additional damages not covered by auto insurance, apologizing can also be used against you. The other driver or any other witnesses, including police officers, can report that you apologized. You may be unable to receive compensation.
When you apologize after an accident, you may feel it’s the right thing to do. Car accidents happen very quickly, and you have no idea what the other driver may have done to cause the accident. They may have been distracted, speeding, or even under the influence of a substance. Don’t accept fault for the accident when you don’t have all the pertinent information.
Comparative Fault in Georgia
Fault in a car accident is based on comparative fault in Georgia. In some cases, the blame rests solely on one driver or the other. However, accidents can be partially caused by both parties. Comparative fault holds both parties responsible for their percentage of the blame. A party can receive compensation as long as they were not more than 49% responsible for the accident.
When you apologize for an accident, you may be considered partially responsible, even if you weren’t. The compensation you receive is reduced by your percentage fault in the accident, meaning you could lose out on a significant percentage of the compensation you deserve simply by apologizing.
What You Should and Should Not Say After an Accident
There are other ways you may accidentally admit fault other than apologizing. Saying you were distracted at the time of the accident or that you overlooked the other driver is likely an admission of fault.
Instead, it’s important to see if everyone involved in the crash is physically okay and to contact emergency responders. Be aware that both you and the other driver may have injuries you haven’t noticed because of adrenaline. When discussing the accident with a police officer, give honest and straightforward facts.
Legal Representation in Your Atlanta Car Accident Case
If you were involved in a car accident in Atlanta, it’s important to talk with an experienced attorney. Negotiating with insurance providers while dealing with recovery is exhausting and counterproductive to healing. An attorney can advocate on your behalf and skillfully negotiate for your interests. If you admitted fault in an accident, it’s even more essential that you get in contact with Lamar Law Office, LLC. We can help argue against your fault and work to reach the ideal outcome for your claim.