What Should You Do When You’re at Fault for an Accident?
When two drivers are in an accident, there tends to be some finger pointing. You want to gather evidence that establishes the other driver as the at-fault party. If you feel the accident was most likely your fault, however, it could be harder than you think. The following are some things you should do when you’re at fault for an accident.
Keep Your Mouth Shut
You don’t want to say something that makes it look as though you are at fault for the accident. Even if you feel you were at fault, there could be other factors at play so you shouldn’t accept blame quite yet. Give the responding officer an honest and accurate account of what took place, but refrain from saying things like, “It was all my fault,” or “I’m sorry that I (fill in the blank).”
For example, if you ran a stop sign and hit another driver, you might automatically assume it was all your fault and could say, “I got distracted and ran the stop sign.” Instead, it’s possible your brakes were faulty, so the accident was the car manufacturer’s fault. It’s possible the other driver also had a stop sign and failed to stop as well, making him or her more at fault for one reason or another. Always keep it neutral so you don’t put all the blame on yourself.
Understand Partial Fault
If you are found to be partially at fault for your accident, it’s probably going to affect your case for compensation. In some states, if you carry 50% or more of the blame, you are unable to collect any compensation. If you carry 49% or less of the blame, you can collect compensation minus the percentage of blame. For example, if you hold 10% of the blame, you could possibly collect 90% of the compensation.
In other states, you are unable to collect any compensation at all if you hold any fault in the accident. Even if you are found to be 1% at fault, you will not be able to collect even 1% of compensation. Your car accident lawyer can help you to understand more about this, as it does play a large role in paying for the expenses of your accident.
Contact Your Lawyer
Car accidents can get expensive when you consider medical costs and property repair expenses. If you’re partially at fault for your accident, you might struggle to get the compensation you feel you deserve. After your accident, don’t say anything that will incriminate you and contact a car accident lawyer for proper representation.