100 Most Influential Lawyers in America – the National Law Journal

Hiepler group internal banner

100 Most Influential Lawyers in America
– the National Law Journal

Apologizing or admitting fault can hurt your personal injury case

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2022 | Personal Injury

In the aftermath of a car accident, adrenaline and the human desire to fix things might result in you apologizing for the accident to the other driver, even if you were not at fault. While this might seem innocent at the time, it could hurt your personal injury claim down the road. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re avoiding any actions that could be perceived as admitting fault.

Five considerations to avoid admitting fault

If you hope to succeed on a personal injury claim, you have to prove two things: liability and damages. Yet, this process requires much more than merely showing that someone else is at fault for your wreck. This is because there’s a good possibility that the other driver is going to argue that you caused the wreck or are at least partially at fault for the accident.

And to support their argument, these drivers will often turn to statements made by the plaintiff shortly after the accident. These statements, regardless of how innocuous they may seem at the time, can end up proving to be extremely harmful in a personal injury case.

But how do you go about doing that?

  1. Keep your statements as objective facts: Regardless of who you’re talking to, whether it is the police or the other driver, you have to be careful with what you say. After all, your words may be taken out of context and twisted so that they can be used against you. Therefore, don’t say “I’m sorry” or otherwise apologize. Also, focus on making statements pertaining only to objective facts. You certainly should not lie, but you should try to avoid talking as much as possible while still giving your accurate account of the accident.
  2. Be wary when talking to insurance adjusters: These individuals may come across as willing to help you in your time of need, but you have to remember that they work for the insurance company, which is actively trying to find a way to avoid paying you. Therefore, you’ll want to be mindful of what you say and how you act when you’re interacting with an insurance adjuster.
  3. Don’t give in to pressure: In the aftermath of your accident, the other driver might come across as aggressive, lobbing accusations at you left and right. However, regardless of how incessant the other driver is that you’re to blame for the crash, you need to avoid giving into pressure and keep the conversation as calm and objective as possible.
  4. Don’t doubt yourself: Accidents happen in the blink of an eye. As a result, the event may seem a bit fuzzy. But don’t doubt your own account of events and thereby give an indication that you may have done something wrong. This holds true even if you think your actions may have partially contributed to the crash.
  5. Trust experts: If your accident is somewhat complicated, perhaps because it involves multiple vehicles, you might want to find an expert who can help you determine fault, such as an accident reconstructionist. This means that you can leave that determination to an expert and refrain from making any fault-related statements until that expert’s report comes back.

Protecting your interests in a personal injury case

Car accidents can result in a range of expenses and hardships, including steep medical costs, lost wages, property damage and more. If you want to take a holistic and aggressive approach to your case, you might want to speak with an attorney as you navigate your legal challenges. An experienced attorney can help you pursue the compensation you need while you focus on your recovery.