Let’s say that a large commercial truck sideswipes your vehicle while trying to pass you. You and the truck driver pull over to the shoulder. Frightened and stunned, you stammer out an apology to the truck driver while the two of you exchange information.
After surviving a trucking accident, many people have the urge to apologize to the truck driver–even when the truck driver was fully at fault. It is very common to want to feel apologetic after a crash. But even though it may seem innocuous–or even helpful–to apologize after a trucking accident, an apology can actually have long-lasting consequences that you might not anticipate.
The consequences of an apology
Offering an apology after a trucking accident can make it seem as if you are admitting fault in the crash. Many trucking companies, truck drivers and their insurance providers will be eager to shift the responsibility for an accident onto you. They may try to use your apology as evidence that you were at full or partial fault for the crash. If these other parties can shift liability onto you, they may be able to reduce the damages that they owe you. They may even try to get you or your insurance provider to pay damages for which you are not liable.
What if I have already apologized for a trucking accident?
Perhaps you have already apologized profusely to the truck driver who was actually at fault for the crash. Even if the truck driver and the trucking company try to shift the blame onto you, you still have options. An attorney with experience in trucking accidents may be able to defend you from accusations of fault. If the trucking company’s insurance provider tries to reduce the compensation it owes you, an attorney may also help get you a fair settlement.