Car accidents are traumatic, leaving victims shaken up afterward. Understandably, you want to make sure everyone is okay. In the heat of the moment, we might say things that we don’t mean. But the issue with car accidents is that no matter what you say, even if you didn’t mean to, it can be used against you. Some people do not even realize that just by uttering an apology, you take fault for the entire accident, even if you are the victim. It’s best to know what to say and when to say it if you find yourself in a car accident.
There are legal implications when you choose not to admit fault in an accident. When you apologize at the scene, you’re taking some form of responsibility. By law, that means you are considering yourself a guilty party in the accident, even if you were the one who was hit. Which impacts your future legal proceedings and insurance claims that you work on. The best way for insurance companies to help determine fault is by seeing who is liable. If you accidentally admit fault, then insurance companies will take that seriously and file you as the guilty person. Which can be hard to fight against later.
Impact on Insurance
The issues don’t stop there. Admitting any kind of fault can mess with your insurance coverage. While these policies are designed to keep you safe during accidents, if it’s considered your fault, then your premium might go up. In certain situations, your insurance company might cancel your policy altogether. This is because they see you as a high risk and don’t want to deal with those inflated rates. Which will cost them more money in the long run.
Dealing with Legal Options
When you admit fault, it makes it harder to find the right legal options you’ll need. Car accidents are intense, and some people don’t know what to do at the moment. If you keep your mouth shut and say what you need to say, you allow other professionals to assess the situation. This gives them the time to form their own opinions and hear your side of the story. This is necessary when it comes to figuring out who is liable based on the evidence provided. If you admit fault prematurely, then you lose those opportunities, as those investigations won’t need to continue.
Admitting fault too early can lead to serious consequences. It might seem like the right thing to do, but it can backfire on you. If the other parties involved in the accident decide to file for a lawsuit, then they might blame you for the accident. As they’ll take your word for it when you decide to apologize at the scene. It can make it harder for you to fight for your defense, resulting in you becoming the one liable and costing you money.
Instead of apologizing after an accident, make sure that you are in a good place. When you talk to the other people involved, simply ask for their insurance information. Once you have completed that, document the accident by taking pictures and videos of the whole scene. It’s important that, at this point, you are not speaking to anyone besides police and medical professionals. This will keep you protected in case you and other people decide to file your claim.
After a car accident, it’s in your best interest to stay calm and collected as you figure out what’s wrong. Don’t start needlessly apologizing because you feel it’s the right thing to do. While it sounds nice, it puts you in a worse position than before. Accidentally admitting fault leaves you trying to pick up the right evidence and get people to hear your side. Make sure you protect yourself by saying what needs to be said rather than what you think you should say. This will help you get the legal help you need to file for a car accident lawsuit.