In the moments following a car accident, your instincts are likely to take over. It can be easy to forget the necessary steps you should take, and you might even apologize to the other driver even if you do not know if you are at fault for the collision.
While it may feel morally questionable, choosing not to apologize after an accident is often the best course of action for securing the best settlement possible from your insurance provider. By understanding more about how insurers view verbal apologies and what best practices you should follow, you can make more prudent decisions in the minutes and days after a car crash.
An apology can be an admission of fault
Any apology, even if you simply say that you are sorry, is up for interpretation as an admission of guilt for the accident. If the insurance company latches onto your apology, they can try to use that admission of being at fault as grounds for denying partial or full compensation for your damages. Keep in mind that determining fault is the role of law enforcement and insurance investigators and that you likely do not know all of the facts surrounding your accident.
Follow the recommended steps after an accident
Following an appropriate course of action can strengthen your chances of receiving a favorable settlement after an accident. Insurance experts recommend taking certain responsible steps, including calling 911 immediately, exchanging information with the other party and documenting the accident.
There is a certain moral obligation to express concern for another party in a car accident and to render aid if you are able. However, providing an apology before speaking to your insurer and your legal team can be premature and even harmful to your own case.