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!