How Admitting Fault May Impact Your Case
In the unfortunate event of suffering an injury or property damage in a car accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for expenses that were incurred as a result. Compensation can be pursued for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and numerous other costs that arose as a direct result of the accident.
As our friends at Tuttle Law, P.A. explain, in order to preserve your rights, you must be careful with the things you say and do in the moments, days, and weeks after the accident. Apologizing for the accident may jeopardize your eligibility of being compensated. Regardless of how responsible you feel after the accident, you should never admit fault. Here are a few reasons why:
You may not yet have all the facts about the scenario.
Given the inherent complexity of some car accident cases, there are likely factors that contributed to the accident that are not known in the time shortly after the accident. For example, the other driver may have been operating a vehicle that was in violation of state safety standards, which ultimately contributed to the accident. You must accept that there could be other factors at play that will require a professional to discover.
Emotions may compromise your ability to think rationally.
A serious car crash can be a traumatic experience. At the moment of impact your brain kicks into survival mode, releasing chemicals that can compromise your ability to process what happened and communicate your statement to investigators in a rational manner. Regardless of who was actually at fault you may feel the need to apologize to the other driver. By saying as little as possible to the other party you can help preserve your right to compensation.
Your initial statement may not be eligible for change.
In many accident scenarios, the statement taken by the on-scene investigators may not be eligible for revision. Meaning if you apologized to anyone at the scene, your words may follow you until the claim is resolved. By attempting to revise your statement after informally claiming liability, you may damage your credibility and jeopardize your eligibility for compensation.
Admitting fault is not your legal obligation.
No one involved party is legally obligated to admit fault, regardless of how obvious fault may be. Determining fault is ultimately the job of those who are investigating the accident. Saying sorry to the other driver, or anything else that implies you are responsible for the accident, you may be sealing your fate as being liable. In this situation, silence may be your best friend.
The insurance company may deny your claim if you admitted fault at any point.
When communicating with the other driver’s insurance company you be particularly careful about the things you say. At this stage in the process it is invaluable to have an experienced car accident lawyer to facilitate communications with the other driver’s insurance company. By having legal representation, the other driver’s insurance company will know they must speak with your lawyer regarding your account of what happened.
In the event that you suffered injuries or property damage in a car accident you will discover the guidance and advice of a lawyer to be invaluable. If you were in a car accident, contact a lawyer in your area to learn more about your legal options.