Legally reviewed by:
Setareh Law
June 7, 2022

It’s human nature to try and comfort one another after a severe accident. Unfortunately, your attempt to empathize with another person in a car accident can backfire. Apologizing after a car accident can see you held responsible for a car accident’s losses. If you’re not careful with your words, you could limit your right to financial support.

Apologies Can Serve as Evidence of Liability

At first, apologizing for a car accident seems like good manners. Unfortunately, this is where etiquette and the law tend to contradict one another. 

While it may be polite to apologize for a car accident, doing so can be seen as an admittance of fault. If you want to bring your accident to the attention of a civil judge, the defendant may use the fact that you apologized for the accident as evidence of your accident liability. As such, your apology could lose you the compensation you need to recover from your losses.

Apologies Can Weaken Comparative Negligence Arguments

California operates on a pure understanding of a concept known as comparative negligence. According to this concept, all parties involved in a car accident have the right to pursue compensation for their losses, even if they can be held accountable for the accident. 

However, the state can reduce your possible compensation by the percentage of fault you contributed to the said accident. With that in mind, you want to work with a California personal injury attorney to reduce the assumption of fault that another party may attempt to foist upon you.

If you apologize at the scene of your car accident, the defendant has more opportunities to implicate you in their losses. While you may still be eligible to receive compensation for your losses, your apology could reduce your financial support by a considerable amount.

Insurance Companies Can Use Apologies to Deny Your Claim

California is an at-fault accident state. This means that insurance companies determine that one party involved in an accident bears the full weight of that accident’s financial losses. If you are determined to be at-fault for a car accident, your provider must help you cover the other party’s injuries and subsequent treatment.

If you apologize to another driver after a car accident, another party’s insurance provider may try to foist the blame for the accident on you. An uncooperative insurance provider could force you to take on someone else’s bills while struggling without compensation for your own losses.

How to Respond to a California Car Accident

Should you find yourself involved in a California car accident, it’s in your best interest to walk the line between polite and firm. Do not apologize for the accident, but do work with other injured parties to exchange insurance information and treat severe conditions.

It’s in your best interest to reach out to an attorney as soon as you can after a car accident. If you can get a personal injury attorney on the scene, you can prevent yourself from making statements that you may later regret.

Finally, assess the scene of your accident like you’re preparing to go to court. Make note of it if the other driver apologizes for the accident or indicates that they may have behaved inappropriately behind the wheel. Our attorneys can use this information to help you build a civil complaint later down the line.

Let a Personal Injury Attorney Represent You After a Car Accident

Contending with the aftermath of a car accident can often require more deliberate, careful action than you feel capable of committing at the time. Should you find yourself struggling to elaborate on your losses or represent your best interests, you can call on a California personal injury attorney.

Setareh Law’s attorneys can stand with you as you present your losses to a California civil court. Our team can represent clients in both Spanish and English, making it easier than ever for you to pursue the compensation you deserve for your losses. For more information about our services, you can call (310) 659-1826 or contact us through our website.