After a crash, tensions often run high. It is normal to not think clearly. Offering an apology to the other party involved may come naturally to you even if the crash was not your fault. Perhaps you may be partially to blame for what happened, but some crash victims apologize when they probably should not.
Apologizing or admitting fault is never a good idea because you may be wrong. You are likely not aware of all the factors that caused or contributed to the crash. More importantly, you could hurt your claim for compensation. Insurance companies look for any reason to devalue or deny claims.
Our attorneys at Sigman Janssen have many years of experience representing car crash victims and a proven track record of recovering the maximum compensation possible. The initial consultation is free of charge. There is no obligation to hire our firm, but if you do, we charge zero upfront services fees.
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You May Be Wrong About the Crash
Car crashes can be stressful and overwhelming. Even a minor crash can leave you feeling emotionally traumatized and not thinking clearly afterward. You may be unsure about what to do next. This may cause you to make certain judgments about what occurred and the role you played in the crash.
It is important to remain as calm as possible. Any statements given to the police should be kept simple. Let them know what it is you remember and avoid offering your opinion. It is best to say “I am not sure” when answering a question instead of making inaccurate statements or apologizing for the crash.
You Will Likely Not Have All the Facts
How the crash happened may seem apparent at the time, but you will not have all the facts about the crash. You may feel certain about what you saw and experienced, but you may be unaware of critical factors that contributed to the crash. You may not have seen the moments that led up to the crash.
For instance, perhaps the other party was distracted while driving. You were unable to see this from your viewpoint but there may be credible witnesses who saw the other party texting before the crash.
There are many factors that contribute to car crashes. Perhaps the brakes on the car were defective, preventing the other driver from stopping in time. The crash still needs to be fully investigated by the police, the insurance company, or by an accident reconstructionist that may be hired if you seek legal help. If you admit fault, there may not be a detailed investigation and some facts may go undetected.
Am I Legally Required to Admit Fault for a Crash?
You may feel that you need to assign blame at the crash scene. You may even feel responsible, but you are not legally required to admit fault. Crash victims may think that admitting fault will help speed up the legal process so they are able to move on. However, admitting fault has disadvantages.
Your insurance company may need to pay the other party’s damages. This may affect your driving record and increase your insurance premiums. Regardless, if you are speaking with the other party involved, the responding police officer at the scene, or the insurance company, you should avoid saying:
- “I am so sorry”
- “I apologize”
- “It was my fault”
- “I did not see you”
These statements could be seen as an admission of fault and could hurt your chances of recovering the compensation you need. This may include medical bills and time taken off of work due to your injuries.
Changing Your Statement May Be Hard To Do
The sooner an admission of fault is documented, the harder it will be to change it. Police reports and insurance companies use statements to determine how to proceed and how to close a case.
Making any changes to your statement could make you seem less credible and undermine your case. This is why you need an experienced attorney on your side who knows how insurance companies think. He or she can handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company for you.
Your Statement May Allow Insurers to Devalue or Deny Your Claim
Wisconsin is not a no-fault insurance state. The law requires the party found to be at fault for a car crash to pay for all damages incurred. Generally, damages are paid through the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you were at fault, you might not be able to recover compensation from the other party.
Insurance companies are only interested in their bottom line: saving themselves money. This means they will do what is necessary to pay out as little as possible. Even if you do not admit fault, the other party’s insurer may try to use your recorded statement as a reason to devalue or deny your claim.
The insurance company may try to place all or a significant portion of the blame on you. If you are partially at fault, you may still be able to recover compensation. Your compensation award will be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
Reach Out For Trusted Legal Help
An Oshkosh-based car crash attorney from our firm is prepared to investigate the car crash, review all reports and statements and engage will all involved parties on your behalf in order to pursue fair compensation for your damages.
Schedule a free initial consultation to get started. You are not obligated to hire our firm after this meeting so there is no risk to you. We only get paid at the end if we help you obtain a recovery.
Call (877) 888-5201 Anytime, Day or Night.