Don’t Apologize After an Auto Accident

Getting into an auto accident is a traumatic experience for anyone involved. In the aftermath of a collision, emotions are running high, and it can be challenging to know what to say or do to try to make things right.  

However, one thing you should never do is apologize for the accident – even if you think you might be at fault. In this blog post, we will discuss why apologies can be harmful, what you should say instead, and what steps you should take after an auto accident. 

Why You Shouldn’t Apologize & What to Do Instead  

Saying "I'm sorry" is a common and even reflexive response for many people in a variety of situations, especially stressful situations like auto accidents. However, in the context of an auto accident, it is important to understand why apologizing can be damaging to your case if you were the at-fault driver.  

When you apologize, you are admitting fault, and that admission can be used against you in court. Even if you were not entirely at fault for the accident, a simple apology can be twisted to make it seem like you were entirely responsible. That is why it is best to avoid apologies altogether. 

So, what should you say after an auto accident? Instead of apologizing, focus on asking if everyone involved is okay, and exchange information with the other driver. Make sure to obtain: 

  • the contact information,  

  • driver's license numbers, and  

  • insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident.  

If there were any witnesses to the collision, obtain their contact information as well. You can also take the following steps after an accident: 

  • Contact the authorities to report the accident.  

  • Take stock of your own injuries.  

  • Seek medical treatment (even if you do not have severe or visible injuries).  

  • Take pictures of property damage and injuries  

  • Make a statement to the authorities. 

  • Contact a personal injury attorney who can help with your claim.  

Comparative Negligence in Colorado  

Apologizing can also affect your potential settlement award. If you are proven to be partially at fault for your accident, you may be barred from pursuing compensation or have your damages reduced.  

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that determines the degree to which each party involved in an accident is responsible for the damages caused. In the state of Colorado, the law follows the modified comparative negligence law, which means that a plaintiff's damages are reduced by the plaintiff's percentage of fault for the accident or injury.  

Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-21-111 states that contributory negligence is not a bar to a recovery action in negligence cases resulting in death or injury. This means that even if the plaintiff is found to have contributed to the accident, they can still recover damages. However, the percentage of the plaintiff's fault is considered when determining the amount of damages they are entitled to receive.  

The plaintiff can recover damages from the defendant as long as the plaintiff is found to be less than 50% responsible for the accident. If the plaintiff's fault is determined to be greater than 50%, then no damages can be recovered. For example, if a driver is found to be 25% at fault for a car accident, and the damages total $100,000, the driver can only recover $75,000 in damages. 

Injured in an Auto Accident? Contact Us! 

If someone else’s negligence led to your accident and injuries, the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C. can help you understand your legal rights and options. Our attorney can also help you:  

  • Calculate your damages 

  • Handle the legalities in and out of court  

  • Handle negotiations and litigation  

  • Collect evidence  

  • Establish liability 

Call (720) 809-8262 to discuss your case with our attorney.