Don’t Admit Fault in a Car Accident

never admit fault in an accident

Quick! What was the color of the car that passed you on your left side immediately before your last car accident? We’re willing to bet that if you have been in an accident, you won’t remember such details.

Maybe you were distracted while changing the radio station or checking a text message (seriously, stop doing that). Maybe you were paying attention to the road, and you were hit from behind.

Maybe it was raining, so the roads may have been slippery. Maybe the driver in front of you didn’t know his tail lights were off, so you slammed into him.

Maybe, maybe, maybe. The reality is that while the memory of some of the details might be clear cut, others can be blurry or incomplete. This is because everything happens so fast, you may still be wondering how it even happened in the first place.

This brings us to rule number one of The Winners Club:

Why You Should Never Admit Fault in a Car Accident

Even if you think you were at fault, let the evidence prove it.

  • Were there any witnesses?
  • Were there any surveillance cameras?
  • Did a passenger in either car make any statements contradicting yours?
  • Would an accident reconstruction expert agree, with absolute certainty, that you were 100% at fault?
  • What if you were partially at fault, but so was the other party?

The reasons listed above are relevant to your case and can help all parties involved fill in any gray areas. Also, the last item on the list (partial fault) will come into play, since Florida is a comparative negligence jurisdiction.

This means that even if you were partly at fault, your ability to recover any compensation would be reduced by the percentage of your fault. If you admit liability for the whole accident, you may not be able to recover anything, even if, in hindsight, the other party may have been negligent too.

What’s even worse, if the other party files a lawsuit against you, they’ll already have an admission.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Take care of what’s important first: Check to see if you or any of your passengers have any visible injuries.

Then look to see if the parties in the other car have any visible injuries. If everyone seems ok and your car still starts, Florida law requires that you move your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic.

Once your car is out of the way, be sure to do all of the following:

  • Remain at the scene.
  • Exchange names, addresses, and vehicle registration number with the other driver.
  • Call the police if there was damage to property.
  • Render assistance to anyone who may need it (call 911 if anyone is visibly injured or complains about pain).
  • Provide your driver’s license, name, and address to the police officer.
  • Document damages: Take as many pictures as you can of the damage to your car, the other party’s car, the scene as a whole, and get the names and addresses of witnesses.
  • Note if there are any nearby surveillance cameras and write down their exact location.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, talk to the other party’s insurance company or attorney, even if they are offering you settlement money. Talk to an attorney first (yours; not the other party’s).

If you flee the scene or fail to render aid to someone who needs it and are later caught, you will be charged with a crime.

Contact Clark Hartpence Law St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation

It’s common to freak out after an accident. But don’t let those emotions work against you.

If you or someone you love was involved in a crash, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.