Whether you believe that you were at fault or not, a car accident is always traumatic. In most cases, it pays off to remain calm and avoid making statements that could suggest you are to blame, as they can have negative consequences later on. Once the situation is over and the details have become clearer, your car accident lawyer in Houston, Texas can help you to figure out how to best lay out your case.
Admitting that you were at fault too early can have a number of negative consequences, and it’s not necessary in most cases. Not only could you run into trouble with your insurance company, but you could also lose the compensation you are entitled to, and your statement can be used against you by the police. Let’s examine why you should be careful about admitting fault and what you can do instead.
Should You Admit Fault After a Car Accident in Houston, Texas?
When you’re involved in an accident and another party has been injured or their car has been damaged, it might feel good to apologize. But you should be careful about uttering phrases such as “I’m sorry”, “I didn’t see you”, or “it was my fault” because they could be considered an admission of fault. Instead, it’s best to remain calm and make more neutral statements. Your priority should be getting everyone to safety and exchanging contact details.
You Don’t Have To
It’s important to note that there is no obligation for you to admit that the accident was your fault, even if the evidence points in this direction. Many people believe that stating they are to blame will speed up the legal process and allow them to move on with their life faster, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, admitting fault can have the opposite effect and cause you more severe long-term issues.
At the site of the accident and later on, when you are speaking to the other parties and their legal representation, avoid uttering any phrases that could be seen as you taking the blame. Instead, keep all your statements free from blame and discuss the relevant facts. You can also ask your lawyer to speak up for you, as they will know much better what to say and what to avoid.
You Don’t Know for Sure
Although you might believe the case is clear-cut, you aren’t a professional car accident investigator, so you can’t make a definitive decision about who was at fault. Incidents on the road are caused for a wide variety of reasons, and there might be additional factors at play that you haven’t considered. For example, the condition of the road, the current weather, and any defaults in the other person’s car could have contributed to the accident.
If you admit fault immediately, there might be no investigation, so these additional causes will never be revealed. However, if you avoid making definitive statements and insist on having all the facts examined, the investigators might unearth some evidence that proves you are not entirely to blame. This can reassure you about the role you played in the incident and allow you to receive the compensation you deserve.
The Police Might Use Your Statement Against You
Anything you say can be used against you, and if the police are present, they will make a report with all your statements. That’s why you should always avoid speaking too much, as you might inadvertently say something that could put you at risk. If you admit fault to the police, you can not only lose your compensation and run into insurance issues, but the other party can also file a personal injury lawsuit against you.
Instead of speaking up, you should ask to consult with a qualified car accident lawyer who knows the Houston, Texas area. Such a professional will be able to speak to the police and the court in a way that doesn’t put you at risk.
Consider Your Compensation
Being in a car accident can have a number of negative consequences for the rest of your life. For one, you or your passengers might have been physically injured and need to go to the hospital. The resulting bills can be high, especially if you need ongoing treatment. What’s more, you might not be able to work for several weeks or months, which can lead to income or even job loss.
In addition to the physical consequences, such an incident is often taxing emotionally. Many people who have been involved in a serious accident need to see a counselor or psychologist, and they might need to take some time off to recover. All these issues can impact your financial future, so getting some compensation is key. Admitting fault can reduce your chance of receiving a fair amount that can cover all the bills and the money you lost by not working.
Consider Your Insurance Needs
When you’ve been in an accident, you’ll want your insurance company to cover the damages, for example the repair of your car. However, people who admit fault often find that their insurance provider is no longer willing to pay, and their claim gets denied. What’s more, your premiums will most likely rise in the future, and you might find it difficult to get insured again.
Since insurance companies aim to pay out as little as possible, they will often ask leading questions that are designed to get you to admit fault. Don’t fall for these tricks, and if in doubt, ask your attorney to speak to the representatives for you and negotiate with them.
What to Do After an Accident
To sum up, admitting fault is not a good idea in most cases, particularly at the site of the accident, when a police officer is present, or if the case isn’t clear-cut. But what can you do instead, and how can you avoid admitting that you were to blame? Almost always, remaining neutral is the key. The other party might be upset and angry, but you should take a deep breath and respond to them in a calm manner.
Contact a Competent Car Accident Lawyer
Before you say anything you regret, ask to speak to a lawyer who has experience with road accidents. They can analyze your situation and let you know how you should proceed. To find the best person for the job, have a look at the websites of local lawyers and find out more about them by reading through the biographies and the testimonials of other clients.
The ideal attorney should have several years’ experience working in the local area, so they know all the laws and regulations in place. What’s more, they should be compassionate and caring, allowing you to feel at ease while you work with them. The best way to find out more about a given professional is to attend an initial consultation and speak to them directly.
Admitting that you were at fault isn’t advisable in most situations, and you should keep your statements as neutral as possible. A great car accident lawyer in Houston, Texas will be able to help you move forward and gain the maximum level of compensation you can. Get in touch with us now at Gamez Law Firm to find out more and to book a meeting with one of our top attorneys.