Can Saying Your Sorry After a Crash Harm Your Claim?Jacksonville Accident News
When victims of car accidents work with a lawyer to help them with their personal injury claims, they will not only have legal support but also be given useful guidance on what to do and what not to do. For example, a lawyer is likely to tell a victim that it is best to stay away from using their social media accounts until their suit is settled. The reason for this is that the insurance adjusters are going to be looking for anything they can find to deny paying a victim or dramatically reduce the amount they are willing to pay. Make no mistake, insurance adjusters will be looking at your social media if you filed a personal injury claim.
Another example would be not to talk to the insurance adjuster alone. Having an attorney handle communications can reduce the potential that a victim may say something that could jeopardize their claim. An attorney will make sure that what information is given to an adjuster will be for the benefit of the victim.
Sometimes, though, a victim may take actions unknowingly after a car accident that can hurt their ability for maximum recovery. Because a victim may not speak to a lawyer until after their accident, their immediate response to the situation may turn out to be problematic. This is especially true if a victim has never been in an accident before.
One of the things a victim may do after a crash is to apologize for it. While this may seem fairly innocuous, it in fact could impact the ability to recover compensation after an accident. What you say after a car accident could be used against you in court. If your words are used against you, it will be to show that you admitted fault for your accident.
How Prevalent are Car Accidents in Florida?
In the state of Florida in 2020, there were 341,367 car accidents according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Car accidents in Florida happen with high frequency. This is particularly true if you live in a highly-populated area of the state.
Duval County is home to Jacksonville, which is the most populated city in the state. Tourists and residents alike are at increased risk for being involved in a crash in Jacksonville because of this. Of all the crashes that happened in Florida in 2020, 21,210 of them happened in Duval County.
If you were injured in an automobile accident in Jacksonville, the Jacksonville car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates can help. Filing a personal injury claim for compensation can come with many challenges. Having an experienced attorney on your side helps protect your interests and can improve your chances of recovering the most money from your claim.
How Can Apologizing Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?
Accidents are jarring and they can also be distressing. It is easy to feel confused and overwhelmed, especially right after the crash happens. As such, victims are likely not thinking strategically about how to get the most money from a personal injury claim. Because of this, it is easy to get out of the car and apologize to the other party despite not having anything to do with how the accident took place.
Most people have a natural inclination to apologize after an accident takes place. This is so regardless of if they caused it or not. The problem is, apologizing to the other parties in a crash will make insurance adjusters jump to say those words were a statement of guilt.
Apologizing after an accident is not a guarantee that you will be found liable for a crash. However, it can be an issue to deal with as you pursue compensation from another party’s insurance carrier.
Florida’s evidentiary laws will only allow statements that are made outside of the court to be used as evidence if they are applicable to the case. So if you get out of a car and just express sorrow for an accident, potentially, this may not be allowed to be used against you. By contrast, if you say that you are sorry and that you caused the crash, then it is very likely that this statement will be turned on you.
Determining when a statement of apology is admissible in court and when it is not can be tricky. Under Florida law, if a person makes statements that are sympathetic and caring towards another party that is in pain, where a death took place, or there is another form of hardships happening then these words may not be permissible. Though, if regretful words are also accompanied by clear admission of the fault then there is a greater chance that these words will be allowed.
The courts will be open to hearing statements and determining if they are eligible to be used as evidence or not. The actual words and the details of the case will largely impact if a statement can be submitted as evidence.
After an accident, it is best to keep your words to a minimum. This includes discussing the details of the accident. If you are able, you should get out of your car and see if anyone is hurt. Call 9-1-1 and first responders will come to the scene. Then, when the police ask you what happen, strictly stick to the facts. And of course, while it may be difficult to suppress your natural response, avoid apologizing and making regretful statements.
Speak to a Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have any questions about the personal injury claim process in Florida or what your options are after your accident the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Sheftall Law are here to assist you. Whether you were in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident in Jacksonville or nearby, the car accident lawyers at Sheftall Law know how to get results. The talented team at Sheftall Law has decades of combined experience advocating on behalf of victims to protect their rights and secure the most compensation possible.
To schedule a free consultation with one of the attorneys at Sheftall Law, please call (904) 638-7712 today.