Is it a Mistake to Admit Fault After a Car Accident?
Posted on August 31, 2021 in Car Accident
If you find yourself involved in a vehicle accident, there are various steps that you can take to help ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the entire insurance claims process. Regardless of whether or not you thank you played any role in causing the crash, you need to avoid admitting fault to any person involved in the incident. This includes admitting fault to those at the scene of the crash as well as to any insurance carriers. Here, we want to discuss why admitting fault can create such a headache when it comes to your vehicle accident claim.
Be Careful About What You Say Right After a Crash Occurs
The moments after a vehicle accident occurs are typically chaotic. Individuals may be in pain, and there will likely be adrenaline rushing through the bodies of those involved. It can be very tempting to get out and start talking to everyone around, which is okay if you are checking for injuries. However, you need to avoid admitting fault in any way, even if you think you were responsible for the incident.
First, you may not know all of the facts and circumstances surrounding how the incident occurred right away. You never know whether or not the actions of somebody else contributed to the incident in some way. Additionally, the moment you admit fault in any way, this significantly decreases the chance that you will be able to recover any compensation. Even saying something as simple as “I’m so sorry” could be construed as admitting fault.
You need to let the police and insurance carriers do their job and determine exactly what happened.
Remain Steadfast in the Days and Weeks After a Crash
In the days and weeks that follow a vehicle accident, you will be contacted by insurance carriers. You are not required to give a recorded statement to the insurance carriers, even if they tell you that you must do so. When you are speaking to claims adjusters, you need to limit how much you say. You can refer any questions from these individuals to your attorney if you have one.
Insurance claims adjusters are very good at making small talk in an effort to get you to open up and feel comfortable. However, anything you say to the insurance claims adjusters about your case can be used against you.
Understanding Comparative Negligence in Oregon
Even if you were partially responsible for causing the vehicle accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for your losses. Oregon operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that a person can still collect compensation so long as they are not 51% or more responsible for the incident. Any person less than 51% responsible for a crash can still recover compensation, though the total amount of money they recover will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Working With an Attorney
If you or somebody you care about have been involved in a vehicle accident and fault is being disputed, need to work with a skilled Portland car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can handle every aspect of these claims on your behalf. This will include conducting an investigation into the incident to determine fault. Your attorney will be able to push back against claims made by other drivers and their insurance carriers in an effort to help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.