Getting involved in a car accident often leaves you shaken and unaware of what to do. Things can get even more confusing if the other motorists blame you for the accident.
In the heat of the moment, you may find yourself apologizing or saying something that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. What is an admission of fault?
Admission of Fault in a Car Accident
As you might have guessed, an admission of fault refers to a statement by someone saying they are legally responsible for a car accident and the resulting damages and injuries.
Unfortunately, admitting fault in a car accident comes with various implications. For example, you may be forced to bear the entire burden of the crash, and you risk paying your injury-related expenses out of your pocket. Admitting fault isn’t a good idea for these reasons:
- It Could Lead to the Denial of Your Claim
Missouri is an at-fault state, which means your chances of getting compensation for medical bills, repairs, and loss of income will depend on the extent to which you were responsible for the crash.
For example, if the judge assigns you 30% fault, you may only recover 70% of your damages.
As you can see, admitting fault, whether intentionally or accidentally, can lead to the devaluation of your compensation claim.
- The Other Driver Could Also Be Partly Liable
Even if you think you may be responsible for the accident, don’t say it. After investigations, there could be evidence that the other driver is partly to blame for the accident.
For example, your attorney may discover evidence that the other driver was eating, on the phone, or doing other things that characterize distracted driving before the accident. In addition, other factors such as faulty traffic lights, slippery or poorly constructed roads, and other motorists’ refusal to give way could have contributed to the accident.
- It’s Not Easy to Withdraw an Admission of Liability
Unless you have an experienced attorney, altering your admission of fault might be next to impossible. Remember that the police and the insurance agent have other tasks to attend to and are looking for the easiest person to blame.
How to Avoid Admitting Fault
Here’s a list of what you generally shouldn’t do to avoid admitting fault:
- Don’t blame yourself
- Don’t apologize
- Never assume your interrogators have your interests at heart
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!