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Can Apologizing after an Accident Be Used against Me as Admitting Fault?

Yes. In fact, many different statements could be introduced later to show that you are not as injured as you claim or that you are partially responsible for the accident. For those reasons, it is important that you be careful about what you say at the scene of a car accident.

Why is Apologizing the Wrong Thing to Do?

Most people only apologize for things they have done. So if you apologize for someone’s injuries, then many people will infer that you know you are really to blame and have a guilty conscience. Of course, that is not the case at all. Many people will apologize simply to defuse a situation or because they feel compassion for someone who has been hurt. Not everyone who apologizes does so because they know they caused an accident.

Nevertheless, the other driver could make this argument to a jury—you are apologizing because you know you caused the accident. And some jurors might find the argument compelling.

What Should I Say Instead?

Rather than blurt out, “I’m so sorry this happened?” ask the other motorist if they need an ambulance. You can also volunteer to call the police to the scene of the accident. By obtaining medical care for injured motorists, you are certainly showing your concern for their well-being. Sometimes, actions are better than words.

What Other Statements Could Cause Problems?

Other statements to watch out for include:

  • “No, I feel fine.” The fact is that you might be in shock and not really aware of your physical injuries until a day or two has passed. But your statements could be used to show you are exaggerating any injuries later for financial gain.
  • “I never saw where you were!” This type of statement sounds like you are admitting you weren’t paying attention while driving.
  • “I should have buckled up.” Not wearing a seatbelt is a form of contributory negligence, which could hamper your case.

Please realize you do not need to have long, drawn-out conversations with other motorists as you wait for the police to arrive. Instead, you can politely swap insurance information and either wait in your car or by the side of the road.

Call a Miami Car Accident Lawyer Today

Car accidents revolve around fault—who is to blame for the collision. Unfortunately, apologies are often misconstrued as admissions of responsibility, even if that was not your intent.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, we can help. Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein has been practicing car accident law for decades. You can speak with one of our Miami car accident lawyers by calling 305-371-2692 today.