Should You Admit Fault in a Car Accident?
Like other legal topics, the subject of liability is more complex than it first appears. For this reason, it’s never a good idea to admit fault in an auto accident before talking to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney. Doing so may rob you of the chance to get the compensation you need and deserve.
Going beyond the basics
In everyday matters, assigning or admitting fault is pretty straightforward: “I’m sorry I bumped into you;” “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.” The matter is resolved and each party goes his or her own way.
Things get more complex, however, when legal issues come into the picture. Auto accidents are a prime example of what we mean. Here’s why:
- Car wrecks can have more than one cause: Modern vehicles contain thousands of precisely engineered components. A failure in any of them can downgrade the car’s safety or performance. The picture grows more complex when you consider factors such as road and weather conditions, both of which can contribute to accidents.
- An auto accident carries with it serious repercussions: These include license points, higher premiums, and, sometimes, civil or even criminal penalties. The pressure of dealing with these consequences can cloud the perception of both parties in an accident.
- The physical and mental stress of a car wreck can affect a person’s judgment: You may think that you remember exactly what happened at the time of the crash. But evidence shows that our memory is rarely as reliable as we think it is. It’s better to give yourself time to reflect on the accident before blaming yourself.
One way to get a clearer picture of what actually occurred is to talk to a Los Angeles car accident attorney. Legal professionals are trained to think in logical, objective terms. Their input can help you to clear up any misunderstandings and decide how you should move forward.
Admitting blame can go awry
All of us have had moments in which we say something we later regret. “It was my fault” is one such phrase. Here’s why this simple statement can backfire on you in a big way:
- Legal decisions are made on the basis of testimony: Hence the phrase “you have the right to remain silent,” which you’ve probably heard in movies or on TV shows. Remember, whatever you say can be used against you later. That’s why it’s often better to say as little as possible.
- You may later realize that your admission was in error: In that case, you’ll be faced with the options of either retracting your earlier statement or letting it remain unchallenged. Both choices carry with them unpleasant consequences.
- Your admission of blame may have been caused by stress, confusion, or outside pressure: A typical scenario is when one of the parties in an accident becomes belligerent and intimidates the other party into admitting blame. In such a case, your admission may have little or nothing to do with what actually occurred.
Your job after an accident is to state the facts as you remember them, without jumping to conclusions or making unwise judgments. Leave it to the legal system to issue an objective ruling.
Choosing the right car accident attorney
After giving your statement to the police, your next step should be to contact a qualified auto accident lawyer. Here are some tips for choosing the right firm:
- Consider the firm’s track record: A trustworthy law firm has a history of achieving favorable results for its clients. Here at Ellis Injury Law, our attorneys have recovered more than $350 million for their clients.
- Consider the firm’s areas of specialty: Look for a law practice that has experience dealing with auto accident and insurance cases. Otherwise, you may find yourself out-maneuvered by the opposing side.
- Consider the firm’s approach to its clients: It’s especially important to avoid any Los Angeles car accident lawyer whose office has a reputation for being a “lawsuit mill.” You’re a human being, not a case number.
After considering these factors, Los Angeles personal injury lawyer wisely. Get in touch with us today to arrange your free consultation. We’re available 24/7 for your convenience. Till then, we wish you all the best.