Regardless of how apparent it may seem that you are to blame for a car accident, you should not admit fault to the other driver, the police officer on the scene, or the insurance company. Admitting fault before you have all the facts could make you subject to a civil suit or driving penalties.
Before you admit fault for the car accident, you may want to consult a car accident lawyer. An attorney from Loncar Lyon Jenkins can investigate your case, establish fault and liability, and discuss your legal options.
Why You Should Not Admit Fault at the Accident Scene
Car accidents are traumatic and chaotic. Within seconds, a crash can turn your life upside down. You have to think critically and process what happened in those earliest moments.
However, this time is also when you are most vulnerable legally. With this in mind, there are several reasons why you should avoid admitting fault at the accident scene:
- You may be experiencing severe emotional trauma.
- You do not have all the facts.
- Changing your statement later can arouse suspicion.
- Admitting fault can hurt your personal injury claim.
You do not have to admit fault or speak at all at the accident scene. You can refuse to answer questions or say anything until after you have consulted your attorney.
Proportionate Responsibility in Texas
Even if you were partly at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover compensation, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.001. This is known as proportionate responsibility.
If you admit fault at the accident scene, the insurance company may claim that means you are 100 percent at fault, even though your actual percentage of fault may be much lower. As long as your percentage of fault is less than 50 percent, you may still be able to recover damages from another party who was more than 50 percent at fault.
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Who Is at Fault for Your Car Accident?
Various factors may determine who is at fault for your crash. Common parties responsible for a car accident include:
After your lawyer investigates the accident, they may discover that the other driver was primarily responsible. The driver may have been driving distracted, recklessly, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You may not have known these facts immediately, making you believe you were at fault for the crash.
A Trucking Company
Did you get into an accident with an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle? If so, the trucking company may be at fault for the accident. Your lawyer may discover that the company failed to train the driver or properly provide maintenance for the vehicle. There may also have been a problem with the cargo.
A Car Manufacturer or Mechanic
If a mechanical failure, such as faulty brakes, contributed to the accident, the car manufacturer may be to blame. On the other hand, a mechanic who serviced the car may be at fault if they failed to properly fix a problem or diagnose an issue.
How a Lawyer Can Help You With Your Case
If you have never been in a car accident or know little about Texas law, defending yourself against a car accident claim can be intimidating. You may make mistakes that hurt your case.
A car accident attorney in Dallas, Texas can be a valuable asset. A lawyer from our team at Loncar Lyon Jenkins can guide you through the process and advocate for you every step of the way. Our personal injury law firm offers a wide range of legal services. We can:
- Investigate the accident to determine the facts
- Gather and process all important documents
- Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Build your case and provide a defense against your accusers
- Negotiate a settlement if the accident is another party’s fault
- Represent you in court if we decide to file a lawsuit
Our legal team may give you the leverage you need to win your case. If your attorney discovers that the accident was someone else’s fault, they may be able to help you get a fair settlement from the insurance company.
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What Evidence Is Available in a Car Accident Case?
Whether defending you or helping you file a claim, your lawyer will need to provide proof of fault and liability. Types of evidence that may strengthen your case include:
Witnesses may have been at the accident scene. They can provide an account of what happened and confirm who was responsible for the accident. If possible, try to get the names and phone numbers of witnesses before you leave the scene.
Official Police Report
One or more police officers may arrive at the scene. The officer will be responsible for gathering the facts and filling out an official report. Your attorney can use the report to establish certain facts and demonstrate that you were not responsible for the crash.
Many of Texas’ roads have surveillance cameras that monitor traffic. One of these cameras may have recorded your car accident. If so, your attorney can view the footage and use it to build your case.
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Get the Facts About Your Accident Before You Admit Fault
Do not incriminate yourself at the scene of a car accident. Instead, contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins and get the representation you need for your case. Call (800) 777-7777 to get a free case evaluation.