Why You Should Not Admit Fault After a Truck Accident
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may have to navigate a number of legal issues as you proceed to file a claim and seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. One of the most important factors in a truck accident, which could affect the amount of compensation you receive, is who was at fault for the crash. Our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers advise clients to refrain from talking with insurance companies or defense counsel for the truck companies. They will attempt to get statements from you, which will be used against you later to minimize your claim or make it go away.
One of the worst things you could do to jeopardize your truck accident case is to admit fault. This happens from time to time particularly soon after the accident when an individual might be in a dazed or confused state. At that point in time, the person might genuinely and sincerely believe that he or she caused the accident. However, that might not be the case. In fact, it is difficult to definitively say who was at fault until a comprehensive investigation is completed. A premature admission of fault could seriously jeopardize your truck accident claim.
Don’t Admit Fault – Here’s Why
Here are a few reasons why you should never admit fault after a truck accident:
The concept of “negligence” forms the basis for most, if not all, personal injury claims, and truck accident cases are no exception. Pennsylvania follows what is known as a 51 percent Bar Rule, which means you may not be able to recover compensation for your losses if you are 51 percent or more at fault for the crash. You could still recover if you are 50 percent or less at fault. However, your recovery would be reduced depending on the degree to which you were at fault. Until the investigation is complete, there is no way you could know what the other driver was doing and what really caused the truck accident.
Lack of fault:
You must allow for the fact that you may not have been at fault at all. When you are involved in a truck accident, it is very likely that police will respond to the incident. Allow them to do their job. Often, the police report will have the investigator’s opinion on who was at fault and why. Sometimes, a defective vehicle part such as faulty brakes may have caused the accident. There is no way you can know that until the vehicle has been inspected or an accident reconstruction expert has had a chance to examine all the evidence.
It is important to remember that when it comes to auto accidents, there could be more than one perspective. This is why eyewitness testimony is an extremely crucial part of the evidence. For example, a bystander may have noticed the truck driver talking on the phone right before the crash or may have seen the truck driver run a red light or stop sign. These types of details could really change the trajectory of the case.
One of the most important things to remember in such cases is that your words can and will be used against you. So, it is imperative that you are extremely careful with anything you say after a truck accident.
The best strategy is to contact an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident lawyer who will stay abreast of the investigation and help ensure that your rights and best interests are protected. Your attorney can advise you regarding how to proceed with the case and help you recover maximum compensation for your losses.