If a big rig insurance adjuster and the driver at the scene claim liability can they take back those statements?

Asked almost 4 years ago - Bakersfield, CA

If a person was in an accident and the driver of the big rig claimed fault at the scene to the police or police tech isn't that officer a witness to those statements? What if also the insurance adjuster admitted liability to the injured person's adjuster and wife paying repairs and rental car but not 500 dollar deductible for drivers insurance company the inured party is still receiving medical treatment? Under what circumstances can those statements not be taken under consideration by an attorney? The reason the question is asked is because I know someone in this situation but it has been complicated by another accident almost two years later.

Additional information

If the second accident caused more damage but a couple of years later how complex does this make the situation for this person and is it worth taking to court? The driver admitted liability for the second accident also but insurance company is not fighting, the first one is.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . There are several layers of questions in this posting, and it will be impossible to answer all of them without all of the facts. So, I highly recommend that you obtain legal representation. However, generally:

    (1) Statements made at the scene of an accident or very shortly thereafter are almost always admissible in court as a "present sense impression", an "excited utterance" or as a statement of a party. So, for an individual to change their story later, which happens, hurts their credibility.

    (2) When an injured person is in a second accident, the at-fault party is responsible for the injuries to the extent that they represent an aggravation of any pre existing condition. The person that caused the second accident is not responsible for previously existing injuries.

    Please have the person that you know seek legal representation to untangle the many concerns tied up in your question.

    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

  2. Nima Taradji

    Contributor Level 16

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . The admission of fault to the police officer is admissible as admissions against party interest and generally goes to the admission of negligence--but not liability. That is the defendant is admitting to have been careless, but you still have to prove that damages have resulted from that negligence- in effect the defendant is saying: "yes we were careless, but you were not injured or not injured to the extent you claim or your damages to the car was there before..." or other antics to that effect.

    I hope this helps-

    Nima Taradji

    Disclaimer: I am a lawyer licensed in the State of Illinois only, and I am not your lawyer (unless you have been in my office and signed a contract). This communication is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice. This is for informational purposes only.

  3. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Admissions against interest made by an adverse party are exceptions to the hearsay rule and are admissible as evidence if and when any court case is brought against the adverse party.

    Pre-existing medical conditions, prior accidents, prior workers compensation claims, subsequent car accidents or other subsequent injuries all can make any personal injury claim more complex. Personal injury attorneys who handle these claims on a regular basis know how to deal with these situations. Your friend should have a competent attorney representing his interests.

    Your friend may find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com, many of which deal with the situations he is now dealing with.

    Legal Disclaimer :

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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