You may be tempted to accept responsibility or apologize to the other driver after a car accident. While it may seem innocent or honorable to do so, admitting fault for a crash can have serious consequences.
It is a common mistake many crash victims make, only to realize its impact on their insurance claims and legal liabilities later. Here are some reasons you should never admit fault after a car crash.
You may not have all the facts
The other driver may have been speeding, distracted or intoxicated at the time of the crash. Mechanical failure could also have had a part to play. If you admit fault without having all the facts, you may take the fall for an accident that you didn’t cause or only partially contributed to.
You may hurt your chances of getting compensation
North Carolina negligence laws bar claimants from recovering compensation if they contribute to an accident. Your statements or admission of fault for the crash could be used against you, and you may lose the opportunity to recover damages for the harm or loss suffered due to another’s actions or inactions.
You may violate your insurance policy
Most car insurance policies prohibit policyholders from admitting fault or making incriminating statements after a crash. If you admit fault after a car crash, you may violate your insurance policy and risk your coverage. Your insurer may refuse to pay for your damages or cancel your policy.
Protecting your interests after a car crash
Besides not admitting fault, it helps to understand additional key dos and don’ts after a car crash to better safeguard your interests. Below is a useful checklist.
- Stay calm and check for injuries
- Call the police and report the accident
- Exchange information with the other driver, such as name, contact details, license number and insurance information
- Take pictures and videos of the scene, the vehicles and any injuries
- Get the details of any witnesses
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Contact your insurance company and report the accident
- Seek legal guidance to help understand your rights and navigate the claims process
Taking these steps after a crash can strengthen your car accident claim and significantly increase your chances of receiving a deserved settlement.