Getting into a car accident is traumatic enough, but knowing you are either partially or entirely to blame can make it so much worse. Accidents can happen at any time, even if you’re the most careful driver on the road.
Many people believe they don’t have a case or aren’t entitled to any compensation if they are partially responsible for an accident. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced bay area auto injury attorney so they can review your case and help you understand your rights.
Gather Information and Documentation
If you’ve been in a car accident you’ll want to take the proper steps after ensuring everyone involved is safe. Report the accident to the police, exchange contact information from all parties involved, as well as any witnesses to what happened.
Make sure you gather names, insurance information, phone numbers and emails, as well as the make and model of all vehicles and license plate numbers. If you’re able, take photos of the scene, any injuries, and any damage done to the vehicles involved.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Immediately after the accident, you should call your insurance company and let them know you’ve been in a car wreck. If you wait too long to report the incident, insurance companies can use this against you and potentially drop your policy making it more difficult to find coverage or get proper compensation.
Don’t Admit to Fault
Even if you know that you are partially responsible for causing a car wreck, never admit it to any insurance company. Their job is to pay the minimum amount for settlements, so admitting fault to your insurance company, or the other party’s insurer, could ruin your chances of getting a proper settlement.
What If You Are Partly Responsible
The state of California uses the rule of comparative fault, which takes into consideration the relative fault of the parties when determining compensation. In other words, your compensation for damages is reduced by the amount of responsibility you have in causing the collision.
A credible car accident attorney can help you determine each party’s extent of responsibility, as well as the precise compensation you deserve for property damages, personal injuries, and lost wages. If you try to navigate without a lawyer, it could end up costing you more than you know.
You could try to get through a car accident claim without a skilled attorney, but you could be missing out on payments or compensation even if you are partially responsible for a collision. If the other driver’s insurance company knows you are at fault, it will make it nearly impossible to collect compensation.
You could even be completely wrong about being at fault, but without your attorney pushing for a proper investigation you could be responsible for damages that you didn’t even cause. The comfort of knowing your claim will be properly handled can help alleviate stress and help you return to normal life.