Don’t Apologize After an Accident. It May Be Used Against You.
We’ve handled thousands of accident injury cases throughout North Carolina in more than three decades, and we’re often asked the question, “Is apologizing after a car accident admitting fault?”
In this blog post, we’ll examine whether or not an apology is an admission of fault in an auto accident in North Carolina.
The Danger of Apologizing After an Auto Accident
Many times, we find ourselves apologizing for bumping into someone while walking or getting in someone’s way even if we aren’t at fault. It is just the courteous thing to do. These minor apologies may be polite but can become major problems if we apologize after an auto accident that really isn’t your fault. However, if the other driver admits fault then this may be considered an admission and may be admissible in court. Obtain witnesses’ names and phone numbers who heard the admission. We can use this to help win your case.
Saying you are sorry can have negative consequences in any personal injury case you decide to pursue.
Making an apology — even if you are not truly at-fault — can have a significant impact on your claim for compensation. Even when the other party is clearly at fault, your apology can be used by the insurance to deny liability based on your contributing to the accident. This is called contributory negligence and even a small amount could bar your right to recovery under North Carolina law.
Injury victims should be especially careful not to apologize or admit fault in any statements to the insurance company. In many cases, claims adjusters, insurance company representatives and/or defense counsel will use recorded statements against you in seeking to pay as little as possible on your claim.
Our Experience Handling Auto Accident Cases in North Carolina
The injury attorneys at Riddle & Brantley law firm handle car, truck and other accident cases involving victims throughout North Carolina. We have seen many mistakes that people make after an accident. These mistakes can impact and complicate the victim’s fight for compensation. We encourage victims to avoid apologizing, saying you are sorry and even discussing the accident with the other party involved.
We also recommend that you consult with an experienced injury attorney before making any statements to the insurance company.
If you’ve been in a car, truck or other accident and suffered injury potentially due to another’s negligence, call 1-800-525-7111 today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with the experienced injury lawyers at Riddle & Brantley.
There is no obligation and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your accident injury case and recover compensation for you.
Wait for the Accident Investigation
Many people will apologize after an auto accident because they feel they caused the accident. Unfortunately, most drivers don’t know what was going on with the other driver before the accident. Even if you feel you are at fault, there are certain facts and circumstances you may not understand after a crash. These circumstances could have contributed to or caused the accident. For example, the other driver may have been distracted or intoxicated at the time of the wreck. Witnesses may have seen the accident and can report exactly what happened. In rare occasions, law enforcement officers witness the crash.
You should never accept fault or apologize because you can’t be sure what has taken place.
Do not assume anything until your accident has been investigated by an injury attorney and investigators, and do not apologize or admit fault before liability has truly been determined.
At Riddle & Brantley, we have a team of experienced accident investigators on staff who can investigate the crash scene, identify and interview potential witnesses, obtain accident report(s), collect and preserve critical evidence, and more. In many cases, we even bring in outside experts like accident reconstructionists to help prove liability.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, do not admit fault and immediately contact a Riddle & Brantley injury attorney at 1-800-525-7111 to have the accident investigated.
You do not want to jeopardize your potential claim for compensation.
Apologizing is natural, but…
Saying you are sorry is common practice in confrontations and unexpected incidents — even if you simply feel you’ve inconvenienced the other party — but this shouldn’t mean you are simply taking the blame.
Unfortunately, an apology may be interpreted as an admission of fault — and could potentially endanger your right to compensation if you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence.
If you are speaking with the other party involved in the accident or discussing the crash with law enforcement, your apology runs the risk of reshaping the event. This may lead others to believe you accept the blame, even if you were not at fault.
The best thing to do after an auto accident is to speak with an experienced North Carolina injury lawyer.
“Do not admit fault or apologize after an accident. You may jeopardize your claim for compensation for your injuries.”
–Gene Riddle, managing partner and attorney, Riddle & Brantley
An experienced injury lawyer can advise you on your legal options, and even help prepare you for statements to the insurance company.
Do not simply admit fault or apologize for an accident. You deserve justice and you may be entitled to compensation.
For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced North Carolina injury lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the short form below.
At Riddle & Brantley, we believe ALL North Carolinians deserve equal justice and we are determined to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve if we can.
Call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your case.