Should I Admit Fault For A Car Accident?
Michigan roads can be dangerous, especially during the winter. Hundreds of thousands of car accidents happen yearly, sometimes injuring and killing those involved. If you sustain injuries in a car accident, your first priority should be your health. However, car accidents typically result in many expenses that cause a financial burden.
It’s natural to wonder who will compensate you for your damages. The Mike Morse Law Firm wants to ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve, so we will share some advice on protecting your claim.
Should You Admit Fault?
You should never admit to any degree of fault, even if you believe that you were partially or fully responsible for causing a car accident. Your assigned degree of fault determines whether you can seek compensation for your damages and reduces the total amount you may receive.
Insurance companies don’t want to pay claims. Many people tend to apologize after an accident, but insurance carriers can use your apology as an admission of fault to avoid paying compensation for your damages.
Laws in Michigan require most drivers to purchase personal protection insurance. PIP coverage will pay some types of accident-related expenses regardless of who causes an accident. However, determining fault is still necessary.
What Else Can You Do To Protect Your Claim?
The actions you take at your accident scene and in the following days, weeks and months can help — or damage— your claim. Damaging your claim can mean that you’ll receive less compensation; liable insurance companies might also deny your claim. Your car accident attorney from the Mike Morse Law Firm will fight to protect your rights.
Use Your Phone
Police officers, attorneys and insurance companies will investigate the cause of your accident to determine fault. Because you’re present at the accident scene, you can use your phone to gather valuable evidence while it’s fresh. Take pictures of all relevant details, including:
- The entire accident scene from different points of view
- Car damages
- Skid marks
- Weather, road and lighting conditions
You can also use your phone’s recording capabilities to document conversations you have with anyone. If you’ve seen the movie My Cousin Vinnie, you may recall that a picture of tire marks proved that the accused boys were innocent. Your photos can prove your innocence and the other driver’s fault.
Get a Police Report
Police officers who respond to car accident scenes record vital information about the collision in a report. Police reports typically include:
- Driver contact and insurance information
- Vehicle placements
- Statements made by drivers and witnesses
- The officer’s opinion of who is at fault
You will need a copy of this report to file an insurance claim. Your car accident attorney will also use it as evidence when building your case.
Accept a Medical Assessment
The injuries you sustain in a car accident are the basis for filing personal injury claims. If paramedics arrive at your accident scene, it is crucial to let them examine you. They may spot injuries that aren’t visible, and that can potentially save your life. If medical personnel don’t come to the scene of your accident, go to a doctor, clinic or hospital emergency room when officers release you.
In addition, medical professionals will document your medical condition immediately following the accident. Your Mike Morse legal team will use this report to prove that you did, in fact, sustain your injuries in the collision.
Continue Recommended Medical Treatments
Your health and recovery come first, and following your medical provider’s advice is vital. Discontinuing recommended medical treatments may hinder your recovery and cause long-lasting problems.
It’s also likely that insurance company investigators will pounce on your actions, stating that severely injured accident victims wouldn’t discontinue their medical care.
Let Your Attorney Handle Communications With Insurance Company Representatives
It’s important to remember that insurance company representatives aren’t your friends, even if they pretend to be. They often trick injured accident victims into unknowingly saying things that ultimately damage their claims.
Your car accident attorney from the Mike Morse Law Firm can handle all communications with insurance companies on your behalf. We know what to say and how to say it, and we will always keep your best interests in mind.
Avoid Social Media
Insurance companies will do almost anything to avoid paying damages. They will try to find proof that you lied about your injuries or exaggerated how serious they are. Investigators will definitely look at your social media accounts to see if you mentioned the accident.
They will also search all posts you make after the accident and use them against you if they can. It is better to stay away from social media during your claims process.
Don’t Sign Documents
Similar to how insurance companies may entice you into saying things to damage your claim, they might also try to get you to sign legally binding documents. Even though most people know they shouldn’t sign anything before reading it, many don’t take that time. You may inadvertently sign a document that diminishes your compensation or removes your rights to seek damages.
Let your legal team review all accident-related paperwork before you sign them.
Keep all Accident-Related Documents
Most car accidents produce stacks of paperwork. Your attorney will need copies of each document, so it’s good to keep all of them in one place. Your file may include:
- Police report
- Medical assessments, bills and receipts
- Car repair or replacement quotes, invoices and receipts
- Insurance documents
- Lost wages documentation
- Records of other reimbursable expenses
If you’re uncertain that a particular expense qualifies for reimbursement, ask your car accident lawyer.
How Is Fault Important?
Many car crashes have more than one at-fault party who share the blame. Laws in Michigan make provisions for multiple-party liability using modified comparative negligence. The amount of compensation you can receive is directly related to your assigned percentage of fault. In some cases, your degree of responsibility disqualifies you from seeking compensation.
Assigning fault correctly is one of a lawyer’s most vital responsibilities. The Mike Morse Law Firm will ensure that our clients aren’t unfairly blamed.
Eligible injured car accident victims may obtain compensation for things like:
- Medical treatments, hospital stays, rehabilitation, medications and medical equipment
- Wages lost due to time missed from work
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety, depression and PTSD
- Being unable to enjoy life
The amount of compensation you receive varies depending on the specifics of your particular accident. Your Mike Morse attorney can assess your case and tell you how much it is worth.
Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney?
The Mike Morse Law Firm has handled car accident claims successfully since 1995. We focus on personal injury law, so we understand the laws and regulations surrounding these cases. We are Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm, so rest assured that we have all of the resources necessary to ensure that you obtain maximum compensation for your damages.
You’ll receive personal attention beginning with a free case evaluation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees; in fact, you won’t pay us anything until we win compensation for you. You can reach us 24/7 by calling 855-MIKE-WINS or (855) 645-3946, using our quick contact form, emailing us or via live chat.