It’s no secret that car accidents are stressful. If you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s easy to become disoriented, confused, and even stressed about your situation, and that may lead you to try and immediately ease the tension however possible. For many people, this manifests itself in the form of apologizing to other drivers, just to be cordial and show good will in that you wish to work together. While this is admirable, it might have some unintended consequences you wouldn’t expect. Let’s take a closer look at how.
Admission of Guilt
Insurance companies quickly set to work trying to gather statements and collect evidence, and often the reason they try to do this quickly is so they can collect as many details as possible in order to start piecing together what happened. These details often include what everyone says at the scene of an accident because what people say could wind up being a huge advantage.
If an insurance company finds out that you apologized for your actions at the scene of an accident, they’ll often try to argue that the apology was an admission of fault, and therefore the person who apologized should be assigned all blame and liability. This is especially true for companies who might recognize from the preliminary details that they may have at least a share of liability in the accident, and therefore will have to pay out on at least part of the various claims that come in. The quicker these companies can push for this resolution, the more often they get their way and you might find yourself stuck dealing with the blame for an accident.
So what can you do in these instances to make sure you aren’t unfairly punished for an accident that wasn’t really your fault? Obviously for many people an apology doesn’t necessarily mean you’re admitting the accident was your fault, so what can you do to disprove them? There a few ways you can protect yourself and your interests in an accident to ensure you receive a fair and beneficial outcome.
For starters, don’t speak with another person’s insurance company before you’ve spoken with your own. Other insurance companies are not on your side, do not have your best interests in mind, and are looking for any possible way to increase their bottom line by paying out as little as possible, which means making you pay more. You do not want to talk to one of these companies until you have spoken with someone who does have your best interests at heart. This includes two different parties: your own auto insurance company, and/or a Waterbury personal injury attorney.
When you are involved in an accident, generally one of the first calls you’ll make (assuming there are no serious injuries) is to your own insurance company in order to start your claim, give your initial statement, and figure out what you should do to get medical treatment and have your car inspected. Your own insurance company will often advise you about the best steps for proceeding forward and will make sure that your side of the story is given proper weight when determining what actually happened and who is at fault.
An attorney is also a powerful ally to have on your side in an accident. When you have suffered a serious injury as a result of your accident, it’s often hard to give statements that are accurate and reasonable within a short amount of time—you often have extreme pain and other problems to deal with. An attorney will look at all available evidence to piece together what happened and then use the law to protect your rights by holding any and all insurance companies accountable for the policies they sell and make sure they give you the compensation you deserve.If you have been hurt in a car accident, speak with a member of the skilled team at Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos Sousa, P.C. today! Dial (203) 583-8299 to request a case evaluation.