Admissions Of Fault After A Car Accident
After a car accident, things can be confusing. Everything you say after an accident can influence your ability to be paid for your losses. To find out why and how to avoid this, read on.
The party that is determined to have caused your accident will be the target of all financial damages. Even if you have insurance, your insurance may be canceled, and your premiums could be raised after an accident in which you were at fault. If you have inadequate insurance (or no insurance), you could be personally financially liable for the other driver's damages. Judges can freeze your assets, place liens on your property, and garnish your wages to pay accident judgments.
What Can You Say?
The only people you can speak with are law enforcement personnel and medical responders. If your accident occurred in a busy area, you will likely be asked repeatedly if you are okay. That is just what people do. However, what you say in response could damage your case. You don't know for sure whether you are okay or not at this point. Anything you do say is probably inaccurate because of your shock. When you are asked by strangers about your injuries, "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable response. However, let medical personnel know about any injuries that you know about or suspect, no matter how minor. They need to know about your status so they can do their job and help you.
What Can You Avoid Saying?
Avoid interacting with the other driver or their passengers at all. If you can exchange contact and insurance information, do so. Don't say anything else, however. Specifically, avoid these phrases:
- You came from nowhere.
- I never saw you coming.
- I am sorry.
- I was distracted for a moment.
- I must have run the red light or stop sign.
It must be emphasized that you are not in any position to determine fault at this time. That is the job of law enforcement, insurance adjusters, and accident investigators. Eyewitnesses, if available, will be interviewed to help form a complete picture of how the accident occurred. Your idea of what caused the accident is based on inaccurate information and your perceptions are not to be relied upon. That is why speaking about the cause of the accident can be harmful.
Speak only to a personal injury lawyer about the accident and never to the other insurer. Contact a firm such as Cormany Law to learn more.