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Avoid Saying Sorry After an Accident

Law Office Of James P. Leahy Dec. 9, 2020

Experiencing any type of accident is scary. As your first instinct in an overwhelming situation, you may try to apologize to the others involved. In this act of kindness and politeness, you could actually damage your future personal injury case without even realizing it. 

However, you can make a big mistake by saying sorry. Your apology after an accident complicates the pursuit of reasonable compensation from the responsible party. 

Inadvertently admitting guilt

In the midst of the chaos following the accident, you may think that you caused the accident. However, at this point you do not have enough information to know the complete story to fully take blame. If you apologize to anyone, it could seem as if you admit your guilt. 

In the aftermath of the accident, you could have to deal with emergency services personnel so taking the time to apologize could detract from more pressing matters. 

Accidentally Accepting Responsibility

The Illinois Code recognizes contributory negligence. This defense to personal injury cases refers to claims where your actions or conduct partially contributed to the damages in the lawsuit. This means that if you were also partially to blame, a judge may reduce the money you recover from the lawsuit in proportion to your contribution of fault in the accident. 

Therefore, an apology might seem like you take responsibility for part of the accident and therefore a portion of some of the injuries sustained. 

Overall, carefully censoring what you say to others after your accident, including on social media, may help you maximize your chances of getting fair compensation for the accident damages.