Is It A Mistake To Admit Fault After A Car Accident?

The aftermath of a car accident is chaotic. You may be experiencing severe physical pain. Even if you were not physically injured, shock could prevent you from thinking clearly and rationally.

New York is a No-Fault Insurance State

Because New York is a no-fault insurance state, many people believe it is irrelevant whether they admit fault after a car accident. However, this is false.

New York mandates that all drivers carry a minimum level of auto insurance. In New York, a driver must possess a minimum of:

  • Personal Injury Protection coverage of $50,000 (no-fault insurance)
  • $25,000 bodily injury liability insurance for a single victim
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability insurance for all accident victims
  • $10,000 per incident for property damage.

The victim files a first-party claim under their no-fault insurance regardless of who caused the accident. The basic PIP policy covers reasonable medical expenses, up to 80 percent of lost wages, and reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, up to the policy limits.

For no-fault insurance benefits, accident victims must file a claim with their insurance company within 30 days of the accident. Failure to submit the claim by the deadline may result in the loss of the right to compensation.

Your insurance company may deny your claim, despite the fact that no-fault insurance is intended to make it simpler for victims to receive compensation after a car accident. It may assert that the accident did not cause your injuries or that they are less severe than you claim.

In addition, no-fault coverage may not cover all damages. You may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, but admitting fault could hurt your case.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against the At-Fault Driver

No-fault insurance does not compensate victims for damages related to pain and suffering. It might not cover all income loss or other damages.

If another driver caused your auto accident, you may be able to file a claim for personal injuries against that driver. If the covered losses exceed the PIP coverage or the victim sustains a serious injury, New York’s no-fault insurance laws permit car accident victims to file a claim against the at-fault driver.

Serious injuries include dismemberment, foetal loss, death, significant disfigurement, fractures, and the majority of permanent impairments or disabilities. The insurance provider may contend that your injury does not meet the “serious” threshold for a third-party insurance claim. If this is the case, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to litigate the matter.

How Can Admitting Fault Hurt My Car Accident Claim?

For you to recover compensation in a third party claim, the other driver must have caused the collision. You must demonstrate that the other driver’s actions were the direct and immediate cause of the automobile collision. If the other driver was solely at fault for the collision, you should be entitled to full compensation for your injuries.

However, if you are partially responsible for the auto accident, you may not receive full compensation.

Under New York’s contributory negligence laws, a victim’s compensation for a personal injury claim may be reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault. In other words, if you admit fault, you will receive less money from the at-fault driver or his insurance company than the actual value of your damages.

For instance, suppose the total amount of your injury claim against the other driver is $500,000. However, you acknowledged that you contributed to the accident. Your contribution to the collision’s cause is determined to be forty percent.

Consequently, your compensation is reduced by 40%, or $200,000 $300,000 would be the maximum amount you could receive for your personal injury claim (the total value of your claim less 40 percent).

It is simple to admit fault without intending to after a car accident. Apologizing or expressing regret for the accident could be misconstrued as admitting fault.

Prior to discussing the car accident with an insurance adjuster, it is generally in your best interest to consult a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can assist you in avoiding errors and omissions that could compromise your chances of recovering compensation for your auto accident injuries.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm

Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.

Abrams Law Group
104-70 Queens Boulevard, Suite 502
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 997-9797

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