DALLAS, Texas. All of us have, at some point in our lives, apologized. It’s human nature to say sorry when something goes wrong or when something terrible happens. Even if a car accident wasn’t your fault, you might be tempted to say you’re sorry to others involved. Yet, if you apologize after a car accident, you could run the risk of facing legal consequences. Why? If you apologize, there’s a risk that the other party might construe your apology as accepting blame for the accident. According to the Journal of Dispute Resolution, the writers note: “It is especially important not to let others misunderstand the meaning of your apology by assuming that an expression of sympathy is an expression of guilt.”
When can an apology be detrimental and when can it be beneficial to your case? The authors note that individuals may generally want to apologize if they have done something wrong. In this case, an apology can sometimes help both parties avoid litigation. A well-crafted and sincere apology can sometimes reduce anger on the side of the injured party and, in some cases, help both sides avoid a nasty court case. However, recent research indicates that when people have been wronged in a way that affects their pocketbooks, they like to see monetary compensation accompany an apology. A University of Chicago economist recently studied the impact that apologies had on Uber users when their rides were late. Not shockingly, Uber users were more likely to return and use the platform when the apology they received was accompanied by a future discount. So, an apology might not mean that you avoid paying a settlement altogether, but it could help you avoid angry litigation.
However, if you were not to blame for the car crash, any apology you make may be admissible as evidence. While this doesn’t mean that the evidence might be sufficient to prove that you are at fault, it could have a significant impact on your case.
At the end of the day, if you are considering apologizing after you’ve been in an accident, it is important to understand your rights and the potential consequences of any apology, but especially a written one. The Law Offices of Robert Gregg are car and truck accident attorneys in Dallas, Texas who can either help you write an apology if you are facing litigation, or who can help you understand how an apology might impact your case going forward.
When it comes to personal injury law, anything you say or do can impact your case. This is why lawyers will often tell their clients to avoid social media while they are in litigation. The same is true for apologizing to others involved in a crash. It may be the right thing to do, but it may also be wise to have a qualified personal injury attorney like the Law Offices of Robert Gregg in Dallas, Texas review your apology letter.
Law Offices of Robert Gregg
2024 Commerce Street, Suite B,
Dallas, TX 75201