Watch What You Say After an Auto AccidentOctober 29, 2012
Even after a minor fender-bender, most people experience a significant degree of anxiety that affects their ability to handle the situation properly. And judgment becomes even more impaired when an accident involves injuries. You cannot eliminate the need to talk with others at the accident scene, but you need to limit your discussions to avoid making statements that can severely hamper your ability to pursue compensation from the individuals whose negligence caused your injuries and other damages.
As explained by the state Department of Legislative Services, Maryland follows the rules of pure contributory negligence. The good news is that even when an individual injured in an accident bears some degree of negligence for the accident, he or she can still pursue compensation from other liable parties. But the law reduces that compensation based on the degree of negligence shared — and admitted to — by the victim.
Even if you can pursue a percentage of the compensation for your injuries when you share negligence, making an admission of partial negligence at the accident scene can easily rob you of your rights. First, you need to recognize that the adrenaline rush associated with even a relatively minor collision can cloud your recollection of the precise events that caused the accident. Also, anyone who overhears your statements can later misinterpret your admission of minor negligence. Attorneys representing the drivers with the majority of liability may claim you admitted fault, reducing or eliminating your ability to pursue the full compensation you deserve.
The best way to handle the accident scene is to limit discussions to collecting information from other drivers and witnesses. Promptly seek guidance from one of our qualified car accident lawyers in Maryland at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. so you do not damage your own case by speaking too much or saying the wrong thing.