If I Say Sorry at the Scene of an Accident – Is that an admission of fault?

sorry busCanadians are known to be polite.   Even at the scene of a car accident, our first thoughts are to say sorry – even when it isn’t our fault. If you are in an accident in BC and you apologize to anyone involved in the accident – does that indicate you are at fault for the accident? More importantly, how will saying “I’m sorry” affect your ICBC Claim?

ICBC determines the degree of fault of each party in the accident using a set criteria, which takes account many different factors. An adjuster will take statements, review witness accounts, read police reports and even visit the scene of the accident.  One thing that they cannot consider – an apology.

According to the Apology Act in British Columbia, an apology does not constitute an admission of fault of liability and cannot be used as evidence of fault or liability.

That being said, you will want to have all the information and resources available to you. Your car accident lawyer will review the accident, the applicable sections of the Motor Vehicle Act of British Columbia and recent court decisions to ensure that ICBC has made the right determination regarding who is ‘at fault’ for the accident.

Even with the Apology Act on your side, it is best to harness that Canadian politeness and leave sorry unsaid. When you are involved in an accident, try to remain calm and keep your discussions with any other drivers or passengers to a minimum. Exchange information and focus on getting witness statements and contact details.

For a free 1/2 hour consultation to discuss what you can do if you have been involved in a car accident, contact Caia Wojnarowicz at (250) 448-7200 or caia@hemmerlinglaw.com.


Website Disclaimer:

The lawyers at Hemmerling & Associates Law Office do not provide legal advice over the internet or to the public at large. We provide legal advice only to clients of our firm. Nothing on the Hemmerling & Associates Law Office website, blog, Facebook or Google+ page is to be taken as legal advice.

Each individual case requires that we review the specific facts and documents in order to research and provide an appropriate legal opinion. While the information contained on these forums is about legal issues, it is not legal advice. All non-legal professionals are urged to seek legal advice from a lawyer.




Leave a Comment