The decisions made in the moments following a car accident can significantly impact how the car accident case plays out. Even the most minor fender benders can be jarring, and most people’s instinctive reaction is to apologize to the other driver, based on the assumption that being polite is the best thing to do. Unfortunately, in Bardstown personal injury cases such as car accidents, the involvement of insurance agencies means that the best thing to do is to keep quiet until you can talk to a car accident attorney about the accident, and let them carefully guide you through the steps of making a successful claim.
Admitting Fault at the Scene
It is always a mistake to admit fault at the scene. Number one, drivers really do not know what happened. They have their perceptions of what went on, but are really going to be impacted by the adrenaline rushing through their bodies, all of the noise, and anxiety about their cars. It is better just to sit in the car, take pictures, capture the evidence, and make sure to get the names and addresses of any witnesses so that an experienced attorney can contact those witnesses and reconstruct what actually happened.
If a driver admits fault at the scene, it is absolutely detrimental to their case. Obviously, once one of the involved parties has claimed that they were at fault, the police are going to stop investigating. Officers are just going to believe the admission and say, “Yes, yes, this driver admitted they were at fault,” and then the driver is not going to be in a position to recover.
In Bardstown, under Kentucky law, under the apportionment of damages, the driver is going to be found to be a percentage at fault and in this case, because they have admitted it, the driver will be one hundred percent at fault, which means they are now going to have to pay for the other person involved even though the one who initially admitted fault may not be the at-fault driver. There is no need for a driver to mistakenly claim that they were at fault when in fact they were not.
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Even though drivers may feel like they want to apologize because the other person is also upset, do not ever apologize because that is going to be taken not as an “I am sorry that this happened to us,” but more as an admission of fault. And anytime an individual admits fault, that is absolutely detrimental to their case.
Car accident lawyers help remind clients that there is plenty of time after everything gets resolved for the parties to shake hands and have no hard feelings.
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Failing to Contact an Attorney Quickly
Failing to contact an attorney quickly after the accident opens the door to the unscrupulous behavior of some insurance adjusters. Insurance companies have an incentive to try to offer drivers what may seem like a large amount of money the day of the accident, but what is in reality a very small amount of money, considering how much the damages really might cost. For example, right after the accident, if a driver feels a little sore and tender, and insurance comes in and offers $500 or $1,500, the driver might be tempted to say that it sounds great and move along.
However, what someone may find out as the months go on is that the pain has not gone away and in fact, it is getting worse and it may never go away because the accident actually caused a ruptured disk.
It is very important that you get your attorney involved very early so that they can be the ones that deal with the insurance company. In addition, if you do not contact an injury lawyer early on, there is no opportunity for your attorney to gather all of the necessary evidence. For example, the scene of the accident may be cleared, the debris may be gone, skid marks may wash off, and that might impact your ability to prove who was at fault for causing the wreck. The best decision to make following a car accident is to retain the counsel of a locally experienced car accident lawyer, who will work to protect you from these mistakes toward achieving the best possible outcome.
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