You were driving through town when you had a head-on collision with another car. You were both a little out of your lane, but you might have been more so. You think the accident is your fault. You get out of the car, and your chest feels heavy. Now you have one question: What should I do if I was at-fault for the accident?
When you meet the other driver, you should try to be as calm and polite as possible. Don’t yell. Don’t panic. It was an accident, not a malicious crash. It’s important to keep a level head, even if the other driver is yelling in your face. When you both get out of the car, ask the other driver if they or anyone in their car is injured.
Don’t Admit Liability
California is an at-fault state, meaning that for every accident, someone must be at fault. Insurance companies make reports of the incident and decide which of you is more at fault, however slightly that maybe. That’s why you should not admit fault. Don’t talk about what you were doing before the crash. Don’t say you didn’t see them.
Never, ever say you’re sorry. Saying you’re sorry can be considered admitting fault. That means you’ve established some degree of liability, even if it wasn’t your fault. As important as it is to be polite, it’s also important to stick to the facts. Don’t say you’re sorry for the crash. If you call a police officer to file a report, stick to the facts, and explain the accident itself.
Call Police and Insurance
If the car accident resulted in injuries, or it looks like more than $750 in damage, you must call a police officer to file a formal report. You must also call your insurance company to file a claim. It’s important in both of these cases to stick to the previous rules.
Don’t say you’re sorry. Don’t admit fault. Be polite and don’t let anyone get an emotional rise out of you. Just explain that you were involved in an auto accident and that you need to file a claim or a report. Remain factual and unbiased and you improve your chances of avoiding fault.
Once you’ve gotten home and you have a moment to breathe, you might want to call an auto injury attorney. With an attorney at your side, you can better navigate the maze of insurance claims and police reports. If you would like an auto injury attorney from Schurmer & Wood to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (805) 470-1628.