In some cases, people’s first instincts is to immediately apologize
for their participation in a car accident. Whether it’s a demonstration
of good faith or genuine remorse for the situation, some drivers just
feel as though it’s appropriate. However, no matter how much you want to,
do not apologize after an accident, even if you think you’re completely
at fault. Unfortunately far too many people make this mistake and it comes back to
haunt them later when they try to pursue compensation for their losses
through a car accident claim.
Insurance companies are in the business of paying out as little as possible,
and they accomplish this goal by absolving themselves of responsibility
to pay for damages. To do so, they’ll often look for any detail
that might be able to help them accomplish this goal, no matter how small.
Many insurance companies try to frame an apology as an admission of guilt
and use it as leverage to assign all blame to the apologizer, regardless
of whether or not they’re actually at fault.
What You Can Do
Just because you shouldn’t apologize doesn’t mean you can’t
still be friendly, cordial, and easy to work with. Here are a few things
you can do that will actually strengthen your case from the start as well
as help you navigate the tension of the accident scene with ease.
Call for help if needed: If anyone is injured in the accident, they need to receive medical attention
as soon as possible. Before doing anything else, call for help and make
sure they receive the treatment they need.
Gather evidence: If you have a cell phone, odds are you have the only tool you need to
gather a boatload of evidence. Take pictures of the accident scene, including
the damage to your vehicle, the other person’s vehicle, your visible
injuries, their visible injuries, and their identification information.
Also be sure to get pictures of any traffic control devices like stop
signs or traffic signals that could have influenced the accident.
Talk to your own insurance first: Never speak with the other person’s insurance before talking to
your own. Make sure you file a claim and talk to your own insurance company
first before giving any statements to the other person’s insurance. You are
not required to give them a statement while at the scene of an accident.
Contact a Stuart car accident attorney: Protect your legal rights by making sure you have a powerful ally on your
side. Having an attorney counsel you through the process can protect your
rights to compensation for your losses.
Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today at 866-675-4427 to request a case evaluation!