What are Admissions in a Civil Case?

54When the police arrest a suspect for a crime, they warn that person that anything he says can and will be used against him or her. If the suspect admits that he/she had something to do with the crime, that admission can be used at trial.

Admissions also apply to civil cases. If you slip and fall in a public place or get injured in an accident, whatever you say can be used against you.

Admissions Defined

An admission has a narrow meaning in a legal context. It is a voluntary acknowledgment made by a party to a lawsuit that is inconsistent with the party’s claims.

For example, imagine you are shopping in a mall, and you trip and fall because of a loose tile in the floor. Security guards at the mall come and help you to your feet and ask you if you are all right. Not knowing what caused you to trip, you say: “I’m fine. I should have been watching where I was going.”

Imagine that your injuries turn out to be serious, and you end up suing the mall because you later realized that the loose tile caused your fall, and you found out that other shoppers had tripped in the same place the day before you fell. If your legal claims states that the negligence of the mall caused your injuries, the mall can use your statement that you “were fine” and “should have been watching where you were going” as an admission against you.

Similarly, if you are injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, but immediately after the accident, you say that you think it was your fault, your statement can again be used as an admission against you.

Once in litigation, as a plaintiff in a civil case, your attorney will serve during the course of discovery a Request for Admissions on the defendants. This can help narrow the various issues in a case before trial allowing for a more efficient process.  For Example:  Request Number One:  Admit that [name of defendant] is responsible for the damages suffered by the Plaintiff.

You can protect your rights in a legal case by not blaming yourself for an injury or accident. It can take days, weeks or even months to establish who is at fault for an accident or injury. Let the legal experts, such as the attorneys at TorkLaw, evaluate who is really at fault.

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