Following Prince Phillip’s recent road accident, many put into question why His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh didn’t immediately make an apology to the other party involved. Catherine Hyde from Coodes Solicitors Personal Injury team comments on why anyone involved in an accident shouldn’t expect an apology and what they could look for instead.
Being involved in a road traffic accident is likely to be a stressful experience, especially if you are left with an injury. Emotions can understandably run high, so it can be infuriating when the party at fault doesn’t apologise. To some, it might feel natural to say sorry, even if you’re not to blame, but from a legal perspective people have to refrain from politeness in order to save themselves trouble later on.
His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh faced criticism in the press for not initially saying sorry to the other party, who was left with an injury, after his recent collision. Although he has now allegedly sent an apology to the injured party, His Royal Highness actually had no requirement to do so as the investigation is ongoing.
Although you may feel distressed, frustrated and believe you deserve an apology, once an accident has happened it is unlikely that anyone involved will utter the words “I’m sorry”. This is because giving an apology could be seen as an admission of guilt and accepting responsibility, which could make their insurance void.
The best thing to do after an accident is check that everyone involved is okay. After that, you should exchange details, including names, contact information and insurance details, but no one should apologise or make accusations as to who was at fault.
A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you get compensation from those responsible if you have suffered an injury as a result of their wrongdoing or negligence. A lawyer will help and advise you if you can claim compensation and guide you through every step of the legal process.
Not only this, they can also help you get the right treatment if you are injured. Once the other party has accepted liability, a lawyer would then be able to get you funded private care, such as physiotherapy or counselling. They will also be able to get independent medical opinions to assess your injuries.
After an accident, it is helpful to take photographs of any damage to the vehicle and write down what you remember, as your memory of the incident is likely to fade over time. This will help any investigation to determine who was at fault. Before seeing a lawyer, you just need to have the other party’s insurance details. However, having photographs of damage to the vehicle, details from any witnesses and any written notes on your memories of the accident and subsequent injuries is also helpful.
You have three years from the accident to make a claim. However, the sooner you can get help the better – not only because you are more likely to remember more about the accident but also because you can then get the help you need, when you need it most.
So, while not receiving an apology can be difficult, it is important to remember that the other party is likely to be simply following the advice of their insurance company by not admitting fault. Focusing instead on what you can do to get your life back on track, which may include getting the right treatment and compensation for the losses you experience as a result of your injury, may be a better way to channel your frustrations.