What If I Am at Fault for Causing the Accident?
Many people have questions about how to handle a car accident following the occurrence. They know to call the police to report the accident, and most people have a general idea of how to contact insurance companies to file a claim when someone else is responsible for your accident. What many people are unfamiliar with is how the proceed if the accident is their own fault. Your driving caused another person’s accident, and you want to know how to recover from that. How do you go about reporting this, how do you handle the situation, and what can you expect?
When Accidents Are Your Fault
The most important thing a personal injury car accident attorney wants you to know is to say nothing at the scene. You can ask how the other people involved in the accident are feeling and if they’re all right, but do not give away anything else. Do not say anything about being responsible for the accident, even if you know without a doubt you are the person to blame. Do not apologize for the accident. Do not say things about not seeing them, or not realizing they were there, or not realizing you were following so closely. Say nothing at all about the entire situation.
Be clear that this is not advice to lie to the police or deny you did anything wrong. It is not. The point of this is to say nothing that might incriminate you as being at-fault. In many instances, the other driver could also be at-fault based on the witness statements, the evidence, and the positioning of the vehicles. If you say the accident was your fault, police won’t bother to fully investigate and place blame as it is due. If another person is partly to blame and you take responsibility, you end up paying more, your insurance rises, and you have an accident record on your driver’s license.
Don’t lie, and don’t make up things that did not occur. Do not, however, admit you are to blame. Wait for the police to determine that, and go from there. You might have a chance at being named as partially to blame rather than fully.
Call Your Insurance
If you live in a no-fault insurance state, you’ll call your insurances regardless who was to blame for the accident. If you don’t live in a state like this, you’ll still call your insurance company. They are going to need you to file a claim so they can get started on paying for repairs, rental cars, and other bills from your accident for both you and the person you hit.
If the other driver and their vehicle were not injured or damaged badly, you have very little to worry about. Your insurance company might raise your rates and you’ll have an accident on your driving record, but you won’t be sued. If the accident was serious and the driver of the other car has medical bills that exceed the amount allowed by your insurance company, you’re probably looking at a lawsuit. The other consideration is the type of insurance you have. If you don’t carry a policy that covers very much, you could become personally liable for paying the difference for the other driver. This is usually very expensive, and it can put you in a major financial bind.
Call an Attorney
If you are involved in an accident and you believe you are at-fault, call a personal injury accident attorney. It’s more important now than ever before you understand the full scope of the law and what it means for you. There is no time like the present to learn what your rights are, how you can go about having your vehicle repaired, and what you can do to protect yourself in case the other also hires a personal injury attorney to sue you for causing their accident.
Even at-fault drivers have rights, and those rights are mandatory under the scope of the law. Let an attorney experienced and familiar with the law help you make a decision about how to proceed. Legal advice from someone who knows the law is necessary in every accident case.