Never rush to apologize or accept responsibility for an accident, even if you think you were at fault. Otherwise, you may hit a wall when you try to claim compensation for your losses.
Fault is a big part of all car accident claims. It determines the amount of settlement that one can claim for damages suffered. Under Missouri’s fault system, you can only get compensated to the degree you were not at fault for the accident. It means that if you are 80% to blame for the accident, you can only recover 20% of the damages awarded.
Here are other reasons why you should not admit fault following a car crash:
You do not have all the facts
Sometimes, the cause of a collision may seem apparent, but you may not have all the facts about the other driver to make a conclusion. The other driver may have been distracted or intoxicated, which may be hard to notice immediately.
Besides, you may not be in the right state of mind to evaluate the circumstances that led to the crash.
You are not legally required to admit fault
There is no law that requires you to admit responsibility even when it is obvious. Therefore, it is advisable to remain quiet and avoid saying anything that puts you on the spot.
Your admission can be used against you
Any statements you make, including police reports, can be used against you by the insurer when it’s time to negotiate a settlement. Additionally, it is not easy to change your statement. Doing so might raise doubts about your honesty or credibility and hurt your claim.
Protecting your claim after a wreck
Your actions and statements after a car crash could make or break your claim. Therefore, if you are unsure of what you should do, it is worthwhile to reach out for help rather than take your chances.