Should I Apologize after a Car Accident?

It is not wise to apologize following a car accident—even if you feel partly responsible. There are important legal reasons to avoid discussing any aspect of the accident, including fault, with the other driver. When you apologize in a moment of panic, it can be construed as an admission of responsibility even if that was not your intention. Your words can easily be misconstrued after a crash, so you should exercise caution.

At Valiente Mott, our team of Las Vegas personal injury attorneys is here to help. We can fight for your right to recover fair and reasonable compensation for your losses and damages after a car accident. If you have been hurt in a collision, schedule a free consultation.

Is an Apology an Admission of Guilt?

Apologizing after a car accident does not mean you take responsibility for what happened. However, insurance companies can frequently twist an apology into an admission of fault–depending on the consequences. Insurance adjusters will note the exact language you use and any implication that you caused the crash or how you could have avoided it is likely to come back to harm your claim for compensation.

Insurance companies frequently raise these issues during settlement negotiations. In some scenarios, they might even refuse to offer compensation based on an alleged admission of fault. The best strategy is to avoid discussing any details of the crash outside of exchanging license and insurance information.

Understanding Shared Fault

Nevada is a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction. It is one of the reasons why an inadvertent apology after a car accident can harm your personal injury case. The law allows you to recover compensation if you were no more than 50 percent to blame for the accident. In “shared fault” cases, the court will reduce your damages award by your percentage of fault.

There are two scenarios if a jury decides you are eligible to recover damages in a car accident. First, they will return a regular verdict indicating your total damages. Second, they will return a special verdict apportioning a percentage of fault to each party. For example, if you were going ten miles over the speed limit, you may be found to be 25 percent at fault. If your damages award is $100,000, it would be reduced to $75,000.

A jury will ultimately determine your percentage of responsibility for an accident, and apologizing to the other driver could tip the scales in favor of the other driver.

Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Car Accident

Car accidents are chaotic, and many victims find themselves unable to work to support their families. One of the many essential steps to take in the aftermath includes not apologizing to the other driver. Our skilled and experienced team of car accident attorneys in Vegas will leverage their experience and resources to limit your percentage of fault so that you can recover the compensation you need for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

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