The reasons why you should NOT admit fault when a car accident occurs
When you are involved in an accident, it is difficult to remember what you need to do as the whole situation is overwhelming. As a driver, it is important to know what mistakes to avoid when you are involved in an accident.
These mistakes may lead to a troubling insurance claim process and even legal ramifications. After the accident has occurred, it is likely you will be a bit shaken, confused and emotionally unstable. It is for these reasons that it’s important to keep the following vital things in mind. They will help you avoid making mistakes that could turn out costly in the end:
These are the reasons why you should NEVER admit fault after a car accident and the related consequences of doing so.
If you blame yourself for the accident, don’t admit to being at fault to anyone at the scene. The law doesn’t require you to admit to being liable for the accident. Don’t allow the other party or witnesses to pressure you to admit being at fault. Knowing this should also act as a reminder that the same applies to you when you feel that the other party is to blame.
Insurance companies will also warn you against accepting liability for an accident, because admitting liability may invalidate your policy. It is important to let the authorities and insurance investigators process the evidence and determine who is liable; this may not sit well with your moral compass, but you do not know all the factors that played part in the accident.
After an accident, you are likely to suffer from shock, making it hard to take every detail into consideration.
In cases where you accept the liability verbally, one can still argue that they haven’t admitted to anything since it wasn’t in writing. However, this is risky as a witness could quote you in court or when the police are taking details of the accident report at the scene of the accident.
You cannot go back on your admission as it could be considered perjury. Perjury has serious legal repercussions and admission of guilt puts you at risk of losing any compensation from the car accident.
Sometimes it is close to impossible to refrain from admitting liability. In car accidents where there is:
• Minimal damage
• No clear injuries
• The cost of repairing the damage is relatively cheap
You may be tempted to accept liability for the accident. However, risks such as later discoveries of injuries and medical conditions will make you liable to legal suits. Avoid this by simply exchanging insurance information with the other party and not taking responsibility for the accident.
If the other party is to blame
If you know for a fact that the other driver is to blame, make a note of your suspicions. They might have been using their phones or under the influence of drugs when the crash occurred. Provide the police and insurance investigators with this information to help them in their investigations.
In cases where you already admitted to being responsible for the accident, seek legal help immediately. Your legal team will give you the dos and don’ts that apply to your situation. They will also help you if you do end up making a compensation claim.
Always involve your lawyers when you’re involved in a car accident. The repercussions of not doing so are not worth it.
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