Why You Shouldn’t Say Sorry After an Auto AccidentMississippi Legal News
Auto accidents can be emotional affairs as much as physical ones, with potential livelihoods ruined on either side of the collision. In the wake of such catastrophes, those with good intentions often find it all too natural to offer their apologies, yet saying sorry can actually bar motorists from the compensation they deserve and skew the claims process unfairly. Don’t apologize, whether it’s to the other driver, an adjuster, your friends, or even on social media.
Insurance Adjusters Will Use Apologies Against You
Insurance adjusters can interpret apologies as admissions of partial fault; from their perspective, why would you say “sorry” unless you had something to be sorry for? Of course, a simple apology isn’t conclusive evidence and can’t be used to prove that you’re singularly at fault, but it can be used as part of an overall case against you to demonstrate at least some level of liability. Remember, adjusters only need to “debatable” reasoning to deny or devalue a claim, rather than concrete evidence.
What does it mean if you’re found to possess partial fault? Under Mississippi’s pure comparative fault system, the more at-fault you are, the less you can recover. For example, if you’re found to be 25% responsible for your injuries in a collision, you would only be able to receive 75% compensation for the medical bills and other auto accident damages stemming from said injuries. This means that it’s in an insurance company’s best interest to prove you to be at fault by any means necessary; even if they can only prove you to be 5% to blame, that’s 5% less they have to pay you.
It’s the Honest Thing to Do
Generally, apologies are offered out of genuine empathy and concern for the other motorist, regardless of whether or not you had a perceived role in the car crash. It can feel dishonest, rude, or outright contemptible to withhold an apology that you feel should be given; even so, it’s important to realize that you’re doing nobody a favor by making assumptions and assigning blame.
Memory-related studies have consistently demonstrated that human memory is far from perfect, even mere minutes after a traumatic accident. It’s startlingly easy to unconsciously exaggerate, fill in gaps, and make assumptions that aren’t true to the reality of what happened, and your memory is only more likely to be compromised as you talk to witnesses and other parties with unique variations on the story. This inaccuracy further encompasses people who feel absolutely confident in their retelling of a story, making claims such as an event being “burned into their mind.”
As such, regardless of if you feel confident that you truly are at fault, you should avoid apologizing after being involved in a car crash; the investigation could reveal mistakes on your part or additional information that significantly downplays your liability. Even if you do end up being at fault, there’s nothing preventing you from offering an apology after litigation has concluded, when it’s most appropriate. Until such a time, it’s best to remain objective, cautious, and impartial.
Get Advice for Mississippi Auto Accidents
Apologies aren’t the only thing that can compromise your ability to recover. There are countless pitfalls along the road to compensation, but a Mississippi auto accident attorney can guide you through the process. Give the personal injury attorneys at Germany Law Firm, PLLC a call at (601) 401-6884 to learn more about how to avoid jeopardizing your car accident claim; we can handle things on your behalf, relieving you of stress and tedium so that you can focus on your well-being.