How Should You Approach Admitting Fault in A Car Accident?

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When in a car accident, you tend to want to expedite the entire aftermath process as much as possible to escape the awkward and unpleasant situation.  Sometimes you may be tempted to admit being at fault in the accident so you can get away from the scene and go de-stress from the event.  This is never a good idea.  In fact, you should never, to anyone or on anything, admit fault to any car accident, period.  Instead, even if the accident was your fault, you should hire an attorney to handle the claims process and deal with the determination of fault.  For instance, sometimes a car accident may appear to you to be your fault when it technically or legally was not.

The scenario of rear-ending another car comes to mind, whereas the rule tends to be the person behind that hit the car in front is always at fault according to the insurance company, it may not be the legal reality if the driver in front was negligent in stopping and no reasonable person could’ve avoided the collision.  That situation would involve your attorney negotiating and possibly litigating with the insurance company on the basis that the standard fault rule applied to rear-ending car accidents doesn’t apply to your case and that it can be proven the other driver’s negligence was the true cause of the accident.

You should never admit fault after a car accident, even if it seems blatantly obvious that it was, in fact, your fault.  If you admit fault, both you and your insurance company become legally responsible for paying for any damages that resulted from the car accident, which can become expansive and ludicrous when the other driver begins to make dubious claims about mysterious injuries that happen to pop up days to weeks after the accident.  Admitting fault automatically subjects you and your insurance company to liability for anything claimed by the other driver regarding injuries or damage from the accident while withholding any admission of fault forces the other driver’s insurance company or attorney to prove you were at fault, which is often a difficult ordeal.  So, while the other driver and their insurance company might try to pressure you into admitting fault, you should always resist the urge to take responsibility for the accident.

Furthermore, don’t ever admit fault to the police offer that responds to the scene. Even if the other driver blames you for the accident, you should only tell the officer nothing in regard to fault or say that you can’t tell who was at fault.  The bottom line is that you should not admit fault to the police.  Admitting fault to the officer will make sure it is included in his accident report, the report that the insurance company will refer to when investigating claims.  If this occurs, and you are listed at fault in the police report, it makes it almost impossible for you to recover any damages from the accident and places yourself at risk for having a personal injury lawsuit filed against you, with the other driver using the statement you made to the police to establish your fault and liability.  Instead, hire an attorney to handle the entire situation and never admit fault to anyone if in an accident under any circumstances.

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Call An Attorney at Walton & Telken Today

The first thing you need to do after a car accident to be sure you don’t jeopardize your ability to recover compensation for damages from the accident is to speak to a car accident lawyer.  If you are in an accident, you should call the attorneys at Walton & Telken today.  We are licensed and skilled attorneys who have a wealth of experience dealing with cases like this and have successfully helped our clients get the most out of their claims.  Trust us to handle your case by visiting our webpage or calling us today at (618) 272-2284 in Illinois or (314) 254-4486 in Missouri to set up a consultation with an attorney.

FAQ

Q: Who Determines fault if neither driver admits to it?

A: In most cases, insurance adjusters will determine fault when a driver files a claim.  When another driver files a claim against you, adjusters from your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company will investigate the accident, and from that, they will determine which party is at fault for the accident. Sometimes police investigators will determine fault at the scene of the accident, especially if the crash involves multiple victims with serious or fatal injuries.

Q: What If the Other Driver Insists It’s Your Fault?

A: If the other driver continues to blame you for the accident, let them to their heart’s content but don’t give in to their insistence. They will have to provide proof that your negligence caused the accident that resulted in their damages in order to legitimize this claim of your being at fault.  Without the legally required proof of fault, the other driver is just wasting their breath and your time.  Without proof and without you admitting fault, there is no means for them to win their case nor recover compensation from you.

Q: Can I admit fault by accident?

A:  Yes, it is possible for a comment or an unknowingly impeaching statement can cause a police officer or insurance adjuster to implicitly derive that the accident was your fault, so be very careful with what you say about fault in every way to everyone.  The best solution is to simply avoid talking about the debate over fault and dismissing the topic with a denial or make a statement of uncertainty as to whom the fault falls on if asked.  Nevertheless, make sure to avoid the topic and watch your words as much as possible when discussing fault.

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