Why You Should Avoid Admitting Fault After a Car Accident

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Why You Should Avoid Admitting Fault After a Car Accident

September 05, 2023
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

Car accidents can be terrifying experiences, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and confused immediately following a collision. However, one of the most common mistakes that people make after a car accident is to admit fault, even when they may not be entirely to blame. Unfortunately, this admission can have serious legal and financial consequences for you, particularly if the other driver decides to file a personal injury lawsuit. Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC discusses why you should avoid admitting fault after a car accident and what steps you should take instead.

Admitting Fault Limits Your Legal Options

Once you admit fault, you have essentially made the other driver’s case for them. In other words, you have closed the door on any legal actions you might have taken against the other driver, such as filing a personal injury lawsuit against them to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages that resulted from the car accident. Instead, by admitting fault, you may end up with a settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company that is much lower than what you deserve simply because they know that you’re at fault.

Admitting Fault Can Negate Any Future Insurance Claims

Not only does admitting fault hurt your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit, but it can also hurt your chances of having your claim properly handled by your own insurance company. If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, then you should be able to receive compensation for any damages caused by another driver’s negligence up to your policy’s limit. However, if you admitted fault, then your insurance company may decide to deny your claim or offer you a weak settlement because they may interpret your statement to mean that the accident was purely your fault.

Only The Police Have The Authority To Assign Fault

Many people mistakenly believe that the other driver has the authority to assign fault, but actually, only the police officer who responds to the accident has the legal authority to assign fault. If there is a dispute as to which driver is at fault, the police officer will generally take statements from both parties, examine the scene of the accident, and make a determination based on the evidence available at the time. It’s important to remember that you do not have to agree with the police officer’s determination of fault, and you should definitely not admit fault just because the other driver is blaming you.

Admitting Fault May Hurt You In Court

If the other driver decides to file a personal injury lawsuit, then the court may use your admission of guilt against you when making their determination. Even if the accident was not entirely your fault, that one statement could weigh heavily against you in court, and you could end up paying for damages that you did not cause. That is why it’s always better to let your lawyer and your insurance company handle any admissions of guilt or fault after an accident, as they will be able to present a much stronger case on your behalf.

Talk to an Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Immediately

Admitting fault can be a disastrous decision for those involved in an Ohio car accident. It can destroy your legal options, negate your own insurance policy, and hurt you in court. Instead, you should focus on getting medical attention, taking pictures of the accident scene, and contacting your insurer and a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. It is important to remember that anything you say or do after an accident can be used against you in court, so take care to avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. If you have any more questions about car accidents, personal injury, or insurance, reach out to an experienced attorney at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott today.










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