Did You Apologize After an Accident?

Did You Apologize After an Accident?

Many people have a natural inclination to say, “I’m sorry,” to another driver following a car accident, even if they did not cause the accident themselves. However, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may consider this statement an admission of fault for the crash and use it against the accident victim at trial. Moreover, the insurance company may adamantly refuse to compensate the accident victim fairly – or offer them any monetary compensation at all – due to the accident victim’s admission.

One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to resist apologizing for a traffic accident in the first place, even if you think you may have contributed to the crash in some way.

However, even if you do apologize at the accident scene, there are ways that your lawyer can minimize your statement and its effect, allowing you to recover monetary damages for your injuries.

As soon as possible after a car accident, it is vital that you retain an OC car accident attorney to represent you. Time is of the essence in car crash cases, and the sooner you get a lawyer involved in your case, the better off you will be.

After you retain an attorney, they can begin investigating the circumstances of your car accident and, if necessary, secure an accident reconstructionist or other expert who can testify in support of your case. Moreover, your lawyer can assist you during all settlement negotiations and highlight the strengths of your case while downplaying any weaknesses.

The Burden of Proof in a Car Accident Case

In any car accident claim, the accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof, meaning that they must show the at-fault driver behaved unreasonably under the circumstances. To be considered unreasonable in their actions, the negligent driver must have operated their vehicle in a careless or reckless manner, violated one or more rules of the road, failed to watch the road attentively, or operated their vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Any of these actions amount to a deviation from the applicable legal standard of care.

Moreover, the car crash victim must show that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the crash and that they suffered physical injuries and damages as a direct result of the accident.

A California car accident attorney in your area can help you establish the legal elements of your claim so that you may recover the monetary damages you deserve.

Recoverable Damages in Car Accident Cases

Car crashes can lead to numerous injuries that require ongoing medical treatment and cause the accident victim to experience intense pain and suffering. Some of the most common car accident injuries include traumatic head and brain damage, cuts, abrasions, fractures, soft tissue injuries, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.

If you can establish the legal elements of your car accident claim, you may be eligible to recover various damages. Since all car accident cases are different, not all accident victims may recover the same types and amounts of monetary compensation. Potential damages in car accident claims include compensation for related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of the ability to use a body part, diminished quality of life, mental distress, permanent disability or disfigurement, and loss of spousal companionship.

What May Happen If You Apologized at the Accident Scene?

Apologizing at the scene of a car accident can certainly affect the amount of monetary damages you receive. In some instances, the insurance company may try and use your admission as an excuse not to offer you any damages – or to severely limit the payout they offer you. However, there are some arguments that your lawyer can make to downplay the effect of your fault admission.

First, your lawyer can point to the actual evidence in the case, such as a police report or eyewitness statement, which contradicts your admission. For example, a police report may clearly state that another driver caused your accident and the specific traffic code provision that the at-fault driver violated. The police report may also indicate whether or not the officer issued a citation to the at-fault driver at the accident scene and, if so, why the citation was issued.

Moreover, witnesses can testify at trial to contradict your fault admission. These witnesses may describe exactly what they saw firsthand, establishing that you did not cause the car crash.

Finally, during the closing argument at a jury trial, your lawyer can argue that your statement was premature, that it was a knee-jerk reaction, and that you were not aware of all the facts when you made it.

Call a California Car Accident Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries in a car accident that resulted from another driver’s negligence, you have legal options available. One of the most important steps you can take is to retain a knowledgeable OC car accident attorney to represent you throughout your case.

Your lawyer can help you recover the monetary damages you deserve by downplaying any weaknesses in your case and aggressively negotiating with the insurance company adjuster. Moreover, your lawyer can represent you at all courtroom proceedings and zealously advocate for your legal interests.