The Blame Game
If you’ve been in a serious car accident (one that caused significant physical damage or any personal injuries), you should say as little as possible on the site of the accident and let a good lawyer speak for you thereafter. The driver who is deemed at fault for the accident will bear the brunt of the cost. If that driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the cost of the accident (repairs and medical care) then that driver will have to spend their own money to make up the difference. That means that if you cause a $200,000 accident and you only have $100,000 of insurance, you will be working for the rest of your life to pay off that $100,000 difference.
As stated above, say as little as possible. Drivers tend to apologize and take blame immediately as a social courtesy. The police and other drivers will take note of these apologies, and the comments may turn into real dollar costs after an investigation. Your apology could turn into a police citation, and those are a major factor in determining who is to blame for an accident.
The driver who was turning left or hit something from behind is the driver who is most likely to be blamed for the accident. If it was you who was driving behind or turning left, make sure you document any unusual circumstances that may have contributed to the accident. Take photos with your mobile phone and collect eye witness statement and contact information. Your lawyer will be able to use this information to reduce your percentage of blame.
Lastly, look for negligence on the part of the other driver. Sometimes, the act of NOT doing something can be more damaging than that of doing something reckless. Forgetting to use a turn signal, driving with headlights off, or driving with a dirty windshield are acts of negligence that can shift the blame away from you and onto the other driver.
When on the site of a car accident, the less information you offer and the more information you collect, the less likely you are to be paying for the accident in the end.