What if I’m Partially at Fault for a Car Accident?

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Attorney David Klibaner | 888-593-1295 | Free Consult

If you’re partially at fault for a car accident or other personal injury case, does that affect your chances of recovery?

This Quick Question features David Klibaner, a personal injury attorney based in Denver, Colorado. He says that you may still have a valid claim, but you should not openly admit fault to insurance representatives.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-593-1295 or by submitting a contact form on this page. The consultation is free and confidential, and you owe no out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Klibaner recommends reacting just as you would if the accident was not your fault.

The tricky thing about fault in personal injury cases is that a situation in which you might think you are at least partially at fault, could be proven to be a situation that shouldn’t have existed in the first place, thus removing or reducing your liability.

Klibaner uses the example of slipping on ice; it’s easy to immediately say that you must not have been looking where you were going, but in reality the owner of the property on which you slipped has a responsibility to take precautions to avoid that situation ever arising to begin with.

This same phenomenon goes for car accidents as well. Even if the accident seems to be partially your fault, an investigation by unbiased law enforcement combined with an assessment from your attorney is more likely to yield a realistic answer regarding who is responsible for the accident, and how much.

Refrain from admitting fault even if you worry you might have been partially responsible.

Even a simple apology can be taken as an admission of fault by another driver, law enforcement, or insurance company. This is why it is important to refrain from apologizing or saying anything else that could be considered an admission of guilt, even partially. You can certainly speak to law enforcement at the scene of the accident, but take care with what you say to make sure you don’t accidentally implicate yourself in a situation which the percentage of your fault has not been decided for.

Similarly, it’s wise to say as little as possible to the insurance companies involved, as they will almost always be waiting for the opportunity to use your words to prove that they don’t need to pay your claim. In fact, if you have an attorney or are planning to hire an attorney, it’s best to simply ask for the contact information of the insurance provider and let them know that your lawyer will be in touch. An experienced personal injury attorney will know what to say or not say before the fault of a situation has been decided. The best thing you can do is to speak honestly regarding the accident, but refrain from making your own assumptions about who was at fault, leaving that task to the experts.

To learn more, contact David Klibaner directly by calling 888-593-1295 or by submitting a contact form on this page. The consultation is free and confidential, and you owe no out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Video Transcript:

Leslie Rhode:

What do I do if I think I’m partly at fault in an injury case? We ask Colorado attorney David Klibaner in this AskTheLawyers.com Quick Question.

David Klibaner:

Well, I wouldn’t really do anything different from a situation where you didn’t think you were at fault. If it’s a car crash, for example, the police will probably come. You tell the truth, and you tell them what happened, but I would not go beyond that. In other words, I would not volunteer information about your fault otherwise. I would not tell an insurance adjuster calling you up, that the accident was your fault. Because often people think they’re responsible and they don’t know all the facts and they’re not necessarily at fault. So I would obviously tell the truth in an investigative stage, I would be careful about making admissions to insurance companies or other people investigating. The same thing in a case where somebody may fall on ice So when they shouldn’t say, It’s my fault, I didn’t look where I was going because probably the ice should not have been there or the other obstruction if there is one should not have been there. So let the process sort itself out really, I would say, if you have a potential claim.

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