Isn’t it just the worst when you know that you are in the right, and yet out of nowhere someone tries to undermine you—and actually gets somewhere? Car accident cases often see things like this happen, where what seems to be an obvious case turns into a “he said, she said” back-and-forth simply because of a minor slip-up on one side of the equation.
Now, you’re about to read something that may sting a little bit. The other driver may be (technically speaking) correct in claiming that you accepted responsibility for the accident at the scene. You don’t remember accepting full responsibility for the crash? That’s because you probably didn’t…at least, not directly so.
The Deadliest Words in the Car Accident Blame Game
We see it all the time. The nicest person in the world, a responsible driver and citizen, is involved in a car accident. The other driver was clearly at fault, but is hurt. Our kind and sympathetic driver tells the injured driver that she is sorry, upset that another person suffered.
While giving a statement to the police, to sound less harsh in light of the injured individual nearby, Kind Driver says that the other car came out of nowhere, and she didn’t see the car until it was too late. After all, it’s tough to blatantly point fingers at someone who is seriously hurt.
Injured Driver, who actually came out of nowhere because he ran a red light, seizes his opportunity to save face (and money on his insurance premiums) by telling the police officer and the insurer that Kind Driver apologized for causing the accident. While Kind Driver was eventually able to prove her case, it took a lot of extra time and energy.
What happened to allow this? Kind Driver uttered the two most incriminating phrases at a car accident scene:
- “I’m sorry.”
- “I didn’t see the other car.”
Every attorney cringes when he learns that his client uttered these dastardly words, and it sounds like you may have run into the same problem. Empathy and manners can often get your words twisted at the scene of a crash. Err on the side of caution, and be as measured as possible in your dealings with other drivers and the police. It is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) to make sure the other driver is unhurt, but be sure that you do not accidentally admit fault indirectly by apologizing for anything.
Have more questions about situations like this one? Augusta accident attorney Chris Hudson can help. Whether you misspoke at the scene or another driver twisted your words unfairly, Attorney Hudson can help you make things right while protecting your rights and compensation due. Reach out today by clicking on the live chat link, or by filling out the online contact form.