I’m Partially Responsible for My Car Accident. Now What?

  • By:David Bate

Car Accident Lawyer

Determining fault in an auto accident can be complicated. Sometimes it’s straightforward and clear which party caused the crash. But in many other cases, both drivers may carry part of the blame. Or many drivers, if several vehicles were involved.

Every day, drivers who are partially responsible for an accident seek counsel from an experienced auto accident lawyer Memphis, TN relies on. They know how to maximize your case to get you the most reasonable settlement.

Can I just admit fault and be done with this?

The answer is no. First off never admit fault, to anyone. And second, even if you did, it sure won’t do you any favors. It fact, it would do the opposite – creating a large financial burden for you, and possibly incurring citations, charges, or a surge in your insurance rates.

While you’re still at the scene of the crash, don’t admit fault to anyone there. Not to the other driver, witnesses, police or paramedics. Providing a statement to police does not require you to place blame on anyone. It’s actually just meant to be a summary of how things unfolded, from your point of view.

Can I hide my responsibility in causing the crash?

Probably not. Keep in mind that immediately after a crash adrenaline is pumping for everyone involved. You may look back on the accident as having occurred in a flash – a fast sequence of events. You may not even realize if and how your actions may have contributed. This is why it’s so important to not place blame on anyone before speaking to your trusted attorney. Keep your statement about what happened to simply the details you can remember, without adding any biased comments.

Responding law enforcement will put together a report, noting:

  • Statements from everyone involved
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Security camera footage from anywhere nearby
  • Where it happened, creating a diagram
  • Weather conditions at the time of the crash

Insurance adjusters will take this report along with all other information supplied by the drivers and determine who is at fault.

How Much Will I Owe?

That depends on where you live. States have various definitions of negligence and fault.

  • Fault vs No Fault
    • ‘No Fault’ states require Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance. Each driver’s PIP will cover their medical bills.
    • At fault states put the burden on the responsible driver. Bodily injury and property damage coverages will kick-in, but responsibility may be split amongst drivers, based on negligence.
  • Types of Negligence
    • Comparative Negligence: A percentage of fault is assigned to drivers. You can seek damages in equal proportion to your percentage of fault
    • Modified Comparative Negligence: You must meet a certain threshold of responsibility in order to seek compensation through another driver’s insurance.
    • Pure Contributory Negligence: In order to recoup damages, you must not be any responsible for any part of the crash.

Contact as attorney today

The best attorneys know how scary it can be to sort through a car accident case on your own, and understand what you need because they have been through this countless times.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for their insight into car accident cases and personal injury.

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