It is easy to feel responsible for something, especially if the apparent facts point a certain way. However, it is important to remember that you know only your side of the story, and even that may not be as accurate as you think it is. For example, if you had two beers over two hours and then got behind the wheel, you might think that would have been enough to make you too drunk to drive. For some people, it would not be, so it is unwise to admit something such as, “I was drunk,” to the police.
All that said, Massachusetts has a general policy for determining fault in an auto collision. The guidelines say that a driver is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident in situations such as colliding while backing up, colliding while leaving a driveway, failing to signal and colliding into the rear end of another car. The policies are in place to help streamline the insurance process. They are not set in stone, though, and in many cases, both complicated and apparently simple, you can have violated one of the “more than 50 percent at fault” triggers and still recover compensation in court.
Avoid signing anything
Often, when another driver’s insurance company believes an accident was the other driver’s fault, the company will be in a rush to contact you to settle. If you have previously admitted you think the accident was your fault, the insurer may do little (or nothing) to disabuse you of the notion. Thus, it might please you to have any offer at all in a settlement to help pay for your injuries and damage. In reality, it could be that the other driver was clearly at fault and you deserve much more compensation.
Avoid signing anything and committing to anything before you have had a chance to consult with a lawyer. You are under no obligation to answer the other insurer’s questions as to whether you were on your cellphone or what you were thinking about when the accident occurred.