Was Admitting Blame After a Car Accident a Mistake?
Admitting blame at the scene of an accident is not always advisable – even if you were at fault. After an accident, what you don’t say or do can be as important as what you do. If you admit fault in an accident, your insurance premiums are sure to go up. And if you can show that the other driver was partially responsible for the accident, such as running a red light and causing you to hit another car, in the case of a left hand turn, you can mitigate your responsibility and pay less in damages.
What Not to Do in an Accident
Protecting yourself and preserving your legal rights can be done if you keep the following points in mind.
- Don’t apologize or admit fault at the scene of a car accident
- Cooperate with police but don't offer any information – when asked, keep your answers short since anything you say can be used against you at a later date
- Don’t engage in small talk with the insurance adjuster – the adjuster is employed by the insurance company and anything you say may be used to reject your claim
- Don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster and politely decline if asked – a written statement that you have had time to prepare is a much better idea
- Never sign a general medical release as this give the insurance company permission to go on a fishing expedition
- Always eek advice of an experienced attorney before you sign anything
What to Do in an Accident
If you are involved in an accident, following these recommendations will serve you well.
- Remain calm
- Call your insurance agent or insurance company immediately.
- Stay in your car with the doors locked until the police arrive if the other driver is belligerent.
- Inform the police about the details of the accident and the behavior of the other driver.
- Keep a pad, pen and disposable camera in your glove compartment when possible so you can collect information. Your cell phone is also a good resource for documenting the details of the accident.
- Make notes of the time and location of the accident and anything else you can remember including the position of the vehicles after the accident, and any damage or impact points. If you can take photos safely, do so – this is always the best form of evidence.
- Get the drivers information if possible and take note of their behavior – particularly if you suspect they have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Write down the names of any passengers in the car, where they were sitting, and if they were injured.
- Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident whenever possible.
Call Zinda Law Group
If you have admitted blame at the site of an accident, your best option is to seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible. After careful consideration of all of the evidence, an experienced attorney may be able to mitigate the damage your statement may have made. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group have many years of experience representing people involved or injured in car accidents and we can help you. Call us today at (800) 863-5312. The call is free and the consultation is free too.