If you get involved in a car accident, you may feel bad that it happened. Maybe you’re not sure if the other driver is injured. Maybe they just seem distraught and emotional, which is very understandable. You want to help and comfort them if you can.
You may be tempted to go up to them and apologize. You think you can help them calm down and you want them to know that you weren’t trying to cause the accident or driving recklessly. But could this be a problem? Should you talk to them?
An apology can be misconstrued as an admission of guilt
The potential problem that you face is that they may think that you are admitting that you were at fault. After all, if you’re apologizing, the implication is that you believe you did something to cause the accident – and that you have something to be sorry about. Your apology may be cited later if you are trying to explain to the police how the other driver was at fault or if you are seeking financial compensation for the injuries that you suffered.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk to the other driver. You will need to exchange insurance information, for instance. You may talk to them while you take pictures of the scene. You may simply want to discuss whether or not anyone is injured and what type of medical help is necessary. But it’s best to keep from directly apologizing for the crash, lest it be taken as evidence that you caused that accident.
Additionally, if you have been hurt in the accident, you could be facing extensive medical bills, lost wages and other costs. Make sure you know what legal steps you can take to seek compensation.