Car accidents can be stressful, confusing and even frightening experiences. No one is fully prepared for such instances. However, it is essential to be aware of what to do in the aftermath of a crash to protect yourself legally.
One of the most critical things to remember after a car crash is that you should never admit fault, even when you think you are wholly responsible. Below are some reasons why it is advisable not to do so.
You could be wrong
You may not have all the information needed to make an accurate determination. For instance, you may not have seen all the cars involved in the accident, or the other driver may not have seen a road sign or traffic signal. You may also be in shock or have adrenaline from the accident, which can impact your ability to recall the events accurately or make an informed judgment.
It could affect your claim
Your contribution to the accident is a crucial aspect of the settlement process. If you admit fault, it could minimize the compensation you can claim for the accident. In some cases, you may not recover anything.
Under New Jersey laws, your contribution to the accident diminishes your recoverable compensation, and if your fault exceeds that of the other driver, you cannot claim anything in compensation.
Watch what you say or do
Your car accident claim process begins with looking at the circumstances that led to the crash, and what you do or say shortly after matters. Avoid making incriminating statements that can be used against you later.
Remember, apologizing to the other driver or admitting that you were in a hurry can be used to apportion blame. This can have far-reaching implications, so you need to be careful with your words to the police, insurance investigators or even eye witnesses. It is best to remain silent and seek legal representation as soon as possible to help protect your interests.