Admitting Fault For a Car Accident: 3 Mistakes to Avoid
The immediate aftermath of a car accident – whether a fender bender or major collision – can leave anyone shocked, confused and scared. In the mayhem, you may blurt out phrases like, “I’m so sorry,” “I didn’t see you coming,” or “I should have checked my blind spot before passing.” While comments like these cannot hold you legally liable for a car accident, they can be used against you by another driver who aims to file a personal injury lawsuit or blame you for insurance purposes. In the panicked moments it’s easy to admit fault for a car accident, but legal experts caution drivers to hold their tongues – as any admission of guilt may make things more difficult for you down the road.
Car crashes can leave anyone shaken, upset and confused as to exactly what transpired before the collision occurred. For this reason, it’s crucial that you keep in mind these three mistakes to avoid that may cost you in the end.
Avoid these 3 mistakes after a car accident
Establishing New York car accident liability requires several factors. To ensure you’re on a level playing field, follow these three tips:
- Never admit fault for a car accident, even if you suspect you are partially or wholly to blame. Don’t volunteer any information that could hold you liable for the collision – this applies to the other parties involved and the police. It’s best to honestly recount the details leading up to the crash, but with a neutral tone. Stick to the hard facts and let the police and auto insurance adjustors determine liability.
- Don’t negotiate with the other driver if he or she offers to settle the damage without getting the police or insurance companies involved. It may be tempting for minor accidents, but can have terrible consequences later on if the driver pursues a fraudulent claim after you’ve already paid a portion of the property damages.
- Don’t leave the scene until a police report has been made and you’ve obtained the address, phone and insurance information from the other driver. By making sure all details of the crash were recorded correctly, you can mitigate the chances of insurance claim problems later on.
New York car accident liability
Remember, following any type of motor vehicle accident, it’s in your best interest to stay calm, and keep your wording neutral without accepting responsibility. Even if the other driver asks you tons of questions or implies your guilt in an auto accident, it’s best to keep mum and politely explain that you’ll answer any and all queries once the insurance companies are involved, and after you’ve consulted with an attorney. This especially holds true in situations where the other driver is visibly angry and accusing you for the accident. As difficult as it may be to refrain from exchanging words, wait until the police report has been made and you’ve spoken with a lawyer.
Legal assistance for auto accident claims
The Sanders Firm specializes in personal injury litigation involving car accident injuries in New York. We take on new cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we secure damages on your behalf. To speak with an attorney about your legal options, even if you suspect you were at fault for a car accident, call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY or fill out the form to the right of your screen.