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It is natural to feel rattled or agitated after a car crash. But the last thing you want is to let your emotions overrule your judgment. Whether or not you are at fault in a car wreck, at no cost should you ever admit the liability! Here are some reasons to justify that stand:
What is a ‘No-Fault State and an ‘At-Fault State?
Different states handle car accidents and insurance payouts differently. Your insurance coverage also determines whether you meet the required legal threshold in a particular state. You may also hear about ‘at-fault’ and no-fault systems.
A ‘no-fault’ system means that either party involved in a car wreck pursues compensation for property damage and the injuries they sustain. Each party is compensated through their personal injury protection coverage.
In an ‘at-fault’ system the party responsible for causing the accident compensates you through their insurance. Texas is an at-fault state. Luckily, you can easily access a car wreck Dallas lawyer with a free consultation.
There Could be More to the Accident than Meets the Eye
Car accidents tend to be complicated and require an in-depth investigation for an accurate finding of what transpired. True, you may have been at fault, but that could be the result of several other contributing factors.
Refraining from admitting fault and letting the police and the insurance company conduct an in-depth investigation may limit your liability if they find that you were only partly responsible for the crash.
Some hidden factors that could have contributed to the accident may include;
- Risky road conditions
- Defectiveness or sudden malfunctioning of critical car parts
- Bad weather conditions
- Perhaps the other motorist was, unbeknown to you, under the influence of alcohol.
- Perhaps you never saw the stop sign due to its obstruction by a neglected street tree.
Should you admit the fault for the car wreckage in Texas, you shall have accepted to assume liability for the other party’s injuries and damages. And that is a rather unfair responsibility to bear, considering that there is a chance that you were only partially responsible for the accident, in which case you may be eligible for compensation.
If you are doubtful that the police and the insurance company may not give an accurate statement about the accident, ensure you reach out to a car wreck Dallas attorney as soon as possible.
Insurance Companies May be Quick to Deny Your Claim
Like other companies, insurance providers are in the business to make money, and they can only realize that feat by maximizing cash inflows while minimizing outflow. As such, they will find any reason to deny you the compensation to keep their books balanced – do not give them an easy way to justify their resolution by admitting fault in a car crash!
One of the first actions to take after a collision is to call your insurer, informing them about the incident and the extent of the damage. The insurer then sends an insurance adjuster or representative to the site to conduct investigations and interrogations concerning the crash.
It is OK to answer relevant questions and provide basic information such as your name and contact information. However, you want to refrain from answering any questions that may jeopardize your chances of getting compensated. Some of the questions to decline answering include:
- What caused the accident?
- Whose fault was it?
- What were you doing at the time of the crash?
- Were you, by any chance, under the influence when driving?
- Were you aware of any defects in the car?
Most of all, you should avoid talking to the insurance adjusters altogether. If you must, only provide short and direct explanations, and ensure that they correspond to what you told the police who responded to the incident.
Insurers are known manipulators, and they might trick you into twisting the facts even without you knowing. That is why it is always an excellent idea to have your auto accident lawyer on standby to intervene on your behalf.
You could Jeopardize Your Chances of Recovering any Compensation for the Damages
Admitting to being at fault after an accident has varying consequences, depending on the state where the accident took place. Some states may limit you from recovering any damages if you are responsible for the wreckage. In other states, you might pursue compensation as long as the wreck was not 100% your fault.
For example, in Texas, there is the proportionate responsibility – a system that grants you the privilege of only assuming the responsibility for the exact level of damage you caused to the other motorist.
Let us assume that there is a car accident involving driver A and driver B. The former gets severely injured and sues the latter for negligence. The jury decides to award driver A $200,000 in compensation but later finds out that the injured driver was partly, say 25%, responsible for the wreck, meaning driver B takes 75% of the liability. In this case, the injured driver would only receive compensation for the proportion of the damage caused by the at-fault driver, i.e., $150,000.
Furthermore, the state of Texas follows the “51% bar rule,” which forbids a car accident victim from claiming damages if they have a share of responsibility of at least 51 percent. In other words, you can only become eligible for compensation if you contributed less than half of the entire damages from the car wreck.
Please note the difference between 50% and 51% liability. If you are found to be 50% responsible for the car crash, you may still get compensated. However, if you are 51% or more culpable for the accident, you get nothing in compensation.
But above all, it may be quite challenging to recover any damages if you had already admitted to being at fault for the wreck. You cannot take back your words and mount the blame on the other motorist, either fully or partially. Contacting a personal injury attorney immediately after the incident can save you from compromising your chances of getting compensated.
Thompson Law is Here to Help
If you or your loved one have been involved in a car wreck and you are unsure whose fault it is, do not hesitate to reach out to a personal injury attorney at (844) 308-8180. Let a knowledgeable lawyer fight tooth and nail to protect your legal interests while healing from the injuries.
Here at Thompson Law, we are a dedicated team of attorneys who handle all auto accident cases in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston, San Antonio, and the surrounding areas. No issue is too big or too small for us, and as a gesture of goodwill, you do not pay us anything unless and until we deliver the victory. Fill out our contact form for a free review of your case.