Car accidents are strenuous, confusing, and often filled with a ton of
tension. In an effort to show good faith and diffuse some of this attention,
it’s perfectly normal for someone to try to be cordial during initial
exchanges after the accident happens. However, these exchanges could actually
do more damage to the car accident claims you are likely going to file
as a result.
Your first instinct might be to get out of your car and apologize for the
situation. If you’re not at fault, are not injured, and simply just
feel bad for the other driver’s losses, it’s important to
know that this seemingly friendly gesture may actually be seriously hampering
your car accident case. That’s because you never know what might
happen when the other person’s insurance company hears that you
apologized for the accident.
Insurance Company Tactics
Once you have been involved in an accident, insurance companies on both
sides will start collecting statements to try to determine what happened,
and this might include what you said to the other driver in the immediate
aftermath. This might not seem relevant (and really, it’s not) but
insurance companies often try to use any apologies that may have come up as an
admission of guilt. They will often argue that by apologizing, you were essentially saying
that the accident was a consequence of your actions, and that you are
therefore responsible for the damages. This isn’t necessarily true,
but it’s not uncommon for them to try to frame things this way.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your car accident claim? The
first and most obvious step is to be extremely careful what you say when
at the scene of an accident and when talking to the other person’s
insurance company. It’s okay to want to be friendly and courteous
(in fact, that’s often encouraged) but under no circumstances should
you apologize. Even if you do think you’re at fault for the accident,
there may have been other influences at work that you aren’t aware
of which may have also contributed to the incident.
Finally, you should always make sure you retain the counsel of a skilled
Bowling Green car accident attorney. A lawyer can work with you to protect
your rights as an accident victim and ensure you receive the compensation
you deserve after you have been hurt in an accident. Should an insurance
company try to assign any blame to you that is undeserved, an attorney
can work quickly to negate this tactic and make sure your claim is handled
fairly, and in good faith.
Call the Law Office of Pamela C. Bratcher today at 270-977-8910 to
request a case evaluation if you have been injured in a car accident!