Be Careful With What You Say After a Car Accident
Car accidents can happen in an instant. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, a car accident happens every minute. After being involved in a car accident, panic, adrenaline, fear, and a wave of other emotions can take over and cloud our judgment.
This is particularly true if you are injured or if other passengers are involved. In auto accidents big and small, we think we know what may have happened. If we feel we are certain, then we may say something to the effect of, “so sorry, this is my fault” or “I am so sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.” However, you could be admitting fault prematurely and your statements of apology can haunt you if you were to later pursue litigation when you are calm and more level-headed.
The official statement you give to the authorities as well as the insurance companies can become your liability that bites you in the end. It is best to refrain from speaking about the details until you hire an experienced lawyer.
Don’t Assume You’re At Fault
Never admit fault in an accident. Even if you feel that you are responsible for the incident. Admitting fault can hinder the possibility of a non-bias investigation, result in an investigation not being conducted at all, affect your insurance claim and compensation, and apply penalties to you. You may not be able to tell that the other driver was texting or driving under the influence.
Knowing What to Say to Insurance Companies
When contacting or being contacted by insurance companies, you should not attempt to admit fault. Admitting fault is your insurance companies’ nightmare and the opposing party’s dream.
When dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, state that you will be speaking with your personal injury attorney. Explain that your attorney will contact them with specifics. This allows the burden to be off of you. It also allows for space between you and a pushy insurance company that may try to pressure you into admitting fault.
Step to Take to Avoid Accidentally Admitting Fault
We’ve all seen it, or worse experienced it. A car accident happens, and everything seems to go into hyperdrive.
The experience is easily overwhelming to anyone, but it is especially immense to the ones involved in the accident. We may want to do our due diligence and say if we think we are at fault. As stated before, your good-intentioned apology can be the difference between you receiving the compensation you deserve or not. But, we are truly not capable of making that decision. Your perception of what happened is clouded at best by the trauma associated with the situation.
It is best to allow for a proper investigation to be made by those who offer outside perspective from the accident. Here are some steps you can take to avoid accidentally admitting fault:
- Do not lie to the police when they ask you for an account of events. Attempt to be as objective as possible, but keep your responses short and avoid non-pertinent details.
- Avoid being overly apologetic. Apologizing is a kind gesture in the event of an accident. However, in this case, show you care in other ways. Ask if they need anything or if you can assist them in some way. Try to avoid apologies where you may unknowingly assume guilt.
- Do not talk to insurance companies without first hiring a competent personal injury lawyer and having them present.
- Hire an experienced law firm to review your case as soon as possible.
What If They Blame Me?
After being in a car accident, some people naturally resort to empathy and want to help, while others resort to anger. A collision can cause people to be in an elevated emotional state. Collisions are never planned so it is impossible to know the kind of person you may collide with.
They may become instantly angry and begin to blame you for the accident. They may tell the police that the accident is all your fault. They may even tell their insurance company that you are to blame. Remain calm, and document everything about the accident. Other than providing insurance information, steer clear of any admissions or characterizations of the accident.
Remember that if they are accusing you of being the cause, it will be up to them to prove it in court, if necessary. Let your personal injury attorneys handle the legal side of your case.
No One Admits Fault, Now What?
If you or the opposing party do not claim fault in an accident, an insurance adjuster will be the one to determine fault. They will investigate the scene and talk to the officers that took statements from the scene. In some cases, if an officer feels that the cause of the fault is clear, they will put that in their report for the insurance adjuster.
The Best Thing To Do After An Accident
If you or your loved one is involved in an accident, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Furthermore, contact our office today to see how we can help you. We are native to Fullerton and have years’ worth of experience to back you and your auto accident case.
It can be stressful dealing with the at fault driver, especially if they refuse to take responsibility. We will be your legal representation and will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Get your free consultation now.