Partial Admission of Fault: What Have I Done?
Often times, attorneys will convey to their clients that it’s important to never speak a single phrase that may possibly be interpreted as an admission of fault. The sad reality is, that most people will only have heard this once they’re already inside of their attorney’s office, recanting the events of what led them there in the first place. This may not mean that a case is subsequently lost per se, but it could very much so be damaged. If a client has done this, they’ve successfully made an admission against their own interest, and any witness can testify towards it in court. Exactly just how damaging their admission is might rest upon the exact laws in the state in which their accident took place.
The Laws in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia:
Here are the specific laws in the states that Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban cover:
- Virginia: In Virginia, an admission of contributory negligence could eliminate any chance of recovery.
- North Carolina: Like Virginia, in North Carolina does not allow for any recovery of damages if it is determined that an injured party is in any way, shape, or form responsible for causing an accident. This is balanced by the “last clear chance” rule North Carolina has in effect. This rule is designed to cover situations where one person carelessly puts themselves directly into the way of harm from a second person, who could, possibly, avoid doing harm if careful. If for some reason, the secondary party misses their opportunity to avoid hurting the party in question, the law of contributory negligence does not apply, and the first party may properly sue for any type of compensation.
- South Carolina: In South Carolina, the state allows for injured parties, who are less than 50% to blame for an accident seek out compensation from another of the other responsible parties. However, more often than not, the court will reduce the amount of compensation in conjunction with the injured parties’ fault.
Unfortunately, the state that your accident took place plays an enormous role in your admission of partial fault potentially jeopardizing your recovery. With that being said, the situation is truly far from entirely hopeless and, your attorney, may be able to patch things up by presenting evidence like the following:
- • You were truly mistaken in regards to being at fault.
- The fault that you admitted to did not directly cause/produce the accident at hand.
- Fault admitted was done so due to a generalized sense of regret after the accident took place, due to sympathy for the other parties’ intellectual and economical losses.
- The other party still had an opportunity to avoid doing any harm, but opted to miss that chance through their own negligence.
Contributory negligence laws have the possibility to produce incredibly harsh outcomes. Knowing this, defense attorneys use them all the time as the crux of their argument in an effort to eliminate any of the damages their clients need to pay back. To work around such tactics, it’s pertinent to you hire a team of knowledgeable attorneys who have experience with repairing the damage that you might have created.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today with Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban!
Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban are prepared to aggressively represent anyone who was involved in and injured in a motor vehicle accident. With over 200 years of legal experience on our side, we’re proud to help those in need, whenever it is they need it most. Call (855) 435-7247 or contact Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban online to schedule a free consultation.