Archive for the ‘What to do at an accident Scene’ Category

Can you say your sorry at an Accident?

When someone is in an accident where another person is injured or killed, they often want to give words of reassurance and caring. By saying your sorry, can you be admitting you caused the accident? The answer is unclear.

Section 73 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act regulations reads as follows:

73 (1) An insured shall …(d) except at his own cost, assume no liability and settle no claim.
From this section, it appears that if the apology can be seen as an admission of liability, you could void your policy with ICBC.

Our BC government did not want to stop someone from apologizing because they might then be liable, and have to pay any losses themselves, so they brought in the Apology Act. An apology is defined as: ” an expression of sympathy or regret, a statement that one is sorry or any other words or actions indicating contrition or commiseration, whether or not the words or actions admit or imply an admission of fault in connection with the matter to which the words or actions relate

If you apologize, this Act specifically states that the apology is not an admission of liability, and overrides an insurance exclusion such as the section set out above.

But what if a court believes someone said: “Oh my God, I’m so sorry, I didn’t see the red light!” as happened in the case of Koshman v. Brodis?

In that case the judge found that there was conflicting evidence and that the statement was one of the deciding factors in finding the person who made the statement responsible for the collision. In that particular case the Apology Act was not brought up so probably was not considered by the judge.

If you want to apologize, be careful. It’s likely best to speak to a lawyer first.