The moments following a car collision can be traumatizing, confusing, and blurry. Victims of accidents often find themselves in an overwhelmed state that can lead them to say something that may work against them during the claims process. It’s important to be very careful not to say words that can be misinterpreted as admitting fault.
In California, as in other states that use comparative negligence law in personal injury claims, fault is a major factor in determining whether compensation will be paid and to whom. Therefore, saying something that hints that you take responsibility for the accident can hurt your personal injury claim. In this article, we go through what might be considered admitting fault in a car accident and why working with an experienced California personal injury lawyer is crucial after a car accident.
What Should You Not Say After a Car Accident?
It’s almost certain that you’ll feel under pressure to apologize and assure the other party that everything will be okay, especially if you were partially at fault. While this form of politeness is something everyone feels to show after such a horrific situation, it might not be the right thing to do, as this may be construed to be admitting fault. Other terms and phrases to avoid include anything that may prove that you were not paying attention as you should’ve been, such as “I didn’t see you” or “I didn’t know I was speeding.”
However, we’re not saying you shouldn’t be courteous to the other people involved in the accident. Be considerate, including helping those injured, but don’t say or do anything that may imply you’re at fault, including fleeing the scene of the accident.
After a car accident or any auto collision, call 911 to alert the police and emergency medical responders. You can interact with the other vehicle’s driver and occupants only for meaningful reasons, including sharing insurance and contact details. Also, it’s important to inform your insurance provider of the accident or contact a car accident lawyer to talk to them on your behalf.
How to Talk to Police or Insurance Agencies
After police and medical experts arrive, cooperate with them. Make sure you give the police only facts about what happened and avoid any assumptions or words that may be interpreted to mean admitting fault. Use the fewest words possible to communicate with them and leave them to determine who is at fault using their expertise, as anything else may be considered admitting fault.
Furthermore, even if you’re feeling just fine and uninjured, allow the medical experts to examine you and take their advice. They are experts in this field, and it’s best to leave them to do what they know best.
Also, insurance companies always aim to prevent liability from falling on them at almost any cost. For that matter, the adjuster may try to twist your words and statements, making you say something that can imply you were in the wrong. This recorded call can be used against your claim. The best thing to do is talk to the insurance company in the presence of your car accident attorney, or to let the attorney speak to them on your behalf.
Even if you know that you’re partly to blame for the accident, don’t admit responsibility. In fact, you may be able to receive some compensation even if you’re partially at fault according to California comparative negligence laws. By enlisting an experienced car accident lawyer, you may still be able to prove that the other driver was to blame for the larger percentage of the accident and win compensation.
Contact a Skilled and Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today at Setareh Law
A car accident is a frightening thing to be involved in. It’s understandably very easy to admit fault by apologizing after the collision or by somehow admitting fault even if you didn’t mean to. Nevertheless, the fact remains that you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages and losses.
Our personal injury lawyers at Setareh Law have been dealing with such cases for years and are equipped with more than enough experience to fight for you. With our contingency fee agreement, you can be sure you won’t pay a penny unless your case wins. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, contact us online or call (310) 659-1826 to enlist expert advice and representation. Our lawyers also speak Spanish.