Anyone who has ever been in a car accident can probably remember the feelings of confusion and uncertainty in the moments immediately following the crash. If you were the one driving, such feelings may be amplified as you replay the incident in your head, wondering what you may have done wrong and what you should do next. Your initial impulse may be to get out of your car, check on the occupants of the other car and apologize for causing the accident—even if you are not certain that the wreck was your fault. Doing so, however, may not be the best idea.
You Do Not Know What You Do Not Know
When a car accident occurs, treating any physical injuries should be the top priority. The next most important concern is to determine who was at fault for the accident. The at-fault party is likely to be liable for any and all damages—including property damage and injuries—caused by the crash. Determining fault can be very complicated, as there may be a large number of factors involved.
Depending on the situation, you may think that accident was your fault. In fact, you may believe that completely—especially in the immediate aftermath before you have had the chance to fully analyze what actually happened. The problem, however, is that when you go to the other driver and say the whole thing was your fault and that you are sorry, he or she can then simply accept your version of the events, even if they are not completely accurate.
For example, assume you were driving just a little above the posted speed limit when suddenly another car turns in front of you and your vehicles collide. You know you were speeding, so you get out and apologize to the other driver and take full responsibility for the crash. But what if the other driver was texting while driving and failed to signal properly before making his or her turn? If you have already acknowledged fault, the chances are probably not very good that that other driver will admit that he or she may be partially to blame as well.
The Importance of Calling the Police
Following an accident, it is important to resist the urge to apologize and acknowledge fault to the other driver. If the accident caused significant damage or physical injury, you must report it to the local police or the California Highway Patrol. When making your report, be honest about what happened. Because the police reports provide a more comprehensive summary of the situation, insurance companies will generally use them to figure out who was responsible for the crash or if both parties were partly to blame.
We Can Help
If you have been involved in an auto accident and you believe the other driver should be responsible for the losses you suffered, contact an experienced San Jose car crash attorney. We will work with you in helping you obtain the full compensation you deserve. Call 408-293-7777 for a free consultation today.
While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with the attorney, please call at 408-293-7777 or complete the intake form below.