No one wants to be at fault in a car accident, but mistakes happen, and we may find ourselves on the disadvantaged side in an accident at any time. As such, we should have the right knowledge on how to handle the situation when it occurs. As car accident lawyers, we can provide you with that information alongside a solid defense.
This is because many drivers give in to panic when they see that they’re responsible for an accident. They end up making irrational decisions that would eventually become a problem. But with the right knowledge of what to do, you can save the situation and end up with minimal liability.
This article will help you understand how to conduct yourself if you’re at fault in a car accident and act as a complete guide to at-fault car crashes.
How Should I Conduct Myself If I Caused an Accident?
The first thing to do once you’ve realized that you’re at fault in an accident is to avoid panic. It’s difficult to be calm in situations like this, but calming yourself down would go a long way in helping you act right and ensuring that you don’t worsen a bad situation.
It would help if you also did the following:
Get Out of Harm’s Way
The first thing to do in an accident is to get out of harm’s way. Make sure that you move yourself and your car out of traffic. It would be best if you didn’t settle in a position that exposes you to more accidents.
Call 911 and the Police
If there are any injured persons in any affected vehicle, you should call 911 straight away. If you’re not a medical personnel, don’t try to move anyone or treat any injured person yourself. You should contact the police too, then stay put. Resist the urge to leave the scene, or you’d be tagged a “hit and run.”
Exchange Contact Information With the Other Driver(s)
Take note of the plate numbers and types of vehicles involved in the accident. After that, get the names, addresses, insurance information, and phone numbers of the other drivers.
Gather Enough Evidence
Take pictures and videos of the scene and document as many details as possible. The best time to do this is before the cars are moved out of the scene. When you do, it would be impossible for others to change the narrative later on.
Don’t Admit Fault
While it may seem like a noble thing to do, avoid admitting fault in a car accident. It’s the work of the police to assess the situation and determine who’s at fault. You should only report relevant facts when necessary.
Call Your Insurance Company
You should also report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you can. They would help you access the situation, guide you through the insurance process, and even help you obtain evidence to limit your liability.
Will I Be Liable for Damages?
Whether you’re liable for an accident that you caused would depend on the state you live in. Some states are “no-fault” states, and each person’s insurance would cover the damages to their respective vehicles. Other states, like Maryland, are fault states, and the driver at fault would cover all the damages.
What If I’m Partially at Fault?
If you’re only partially at fault for an accident, your liability would depend on the state in which the accident occurred.
In some states that use contributory negligence laws like Maryland, injured persons cannot claim compensation if they’re more than 1% at fault. In some other jurisdictions, they’re guided by the rules of comparative negligence. Each party at fault would pay damages according to the fault percentage, so long it is less than 50%.
What Damages Would I Be Required to Pay?
The damages mostly covered under a car accident claim include medical bills, vehicle damage/cost of repairs, pain, and suffering, loss of earning capacity, etc. These damages are usually covered by your insurance, except the costs exceed your insurance cover.
Get a Car Accident Lawyer Now!
Accidents can happen to anyone, and if you find that you’re at fault in a car accident, you shouldn’t take it so hard. Instead, you should also contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you mitigate the risks and liabilities you may have to bear.
At Pinder Plotkin LLC, we will help you with your car accident claim and ensure that you only pay for what you’re responsible for — and nothing more. We will be with you every step of the way.