It can happen to anyone: You are driving home from work, minding your own business, and then you suddenly end up in a collision with another car. The result is confusion, a crumpled bumper, and an angry car owner trying to blame you for what happened.
While apologies are almost instinctual in a situation like this, they can actually have more negative than positive effects on your case. Here is why you should never apologize after a car accident.
Determining Who Was at Fault
Right after an accident, it is probably too soon to know who is at fault. Your car insurance company will investigate the incident and determine who was responsible. Illinois uses comparative negligence when determining how much compensation each driver gets after an accident. In many cases, both drivers are responsible for a car crash, but one driver might have contributed to the accident more than the other.
If the other driver can show that you apologized for the accident, he or she can make it look like you admitted guilt. You could then wind up with less compensation than you deserve. You will only be able to collect for your damages if you were less than 50% at fault, so you do not want to look like you were even half responsible for what happened.
After a car accident, you might think that apologizing will make things easier. However, there are many ways that this can hurt you. Instead of admitting guilt, you should focus on ensuring everyone’s safety, exchanging information with the other driver, and filing a police report.