In car accident cases, each driver has a different version of events. Sometimes this is simple: you saw and experienced the accident from different places and different things stood out to each of you. But if you find yourself in a quandary because the other driver’s version of the accident really doesn’t line up with yours, you may need to work with a personal injury lawyer to reach a settlement with insurance companies. Learn more about how to prove fault in a car accident case when driver perspectives don’t match up.
The other driver may lie about how an accident happened simply to avoid being held financially responsible for the accident. Whether the other driver has auto insurance, the at-fault driver will have to pay for damages, including vehicle damage, severe injuries, and pain and suffering. By lying about the accident, the other driver hopes to avoid these expenses and possibly other fines.
You have your version of events, and the other driver has theirs. But whether the other driver lies intentionally or unintentionally, there are several things you can do to prove who is the at-fault driver in a car accident. When your car accident claim goes to court, your personal injury lawyer will focus on three key elements to prove the other driver’s fault.
First, the credibility of each driver is crucial. If the other driver lies, it’s likely the details of the other driver’s account may change each time the other driver speaks about the accident. A jury will also be asked to pay special attention to how well each driver remembers details, how emotional each driver is when speaking about the accident, and if either driver has a reason to fib about details (such as financial motivations).
The credibility of a driver might take a hit if a driver was driving under the influence or guilty of distracted driving. Driver credibility can also be influenced by a driver’s criminal record, traffic violation record, and eyewitness statements about how a crash occurred.
Eyewitnesses are considered neutral witnesses because they have no stake in the result of the case. A third-party witness is someone who observed the accident as it happened and may have details about the other driver’s behavior after the accident. A passenger in either car is not considered a neutral third-party witness; however, a statement from passengers and other people involved in the accident, such as pedestrians, is still important for proving fault.
Physical evidence is also important, especially if you will need to prove your claim to your insurance company or in court. Physical evidence of the accident scene can include photographs you take, CCTV traffic footage, dashcam footage, property damage, debris left on the road, and more. The more documentation you have of the accident scene, the more likely you are to win a fair settlement for your damages.
Some physical evidence you will want to document can include road conditions, traffic signs, weather conditions, damage to the vehicles, placement of the vehicles, and skid marks left on the road. When experts examine detailed photographic evidence, they can accurately conclude how an accident happened and which driver is more at-fault.
Filing a police report after an accident is important for a few reasons. The first is that, in Texas, you are required to contact the police after a car accident, even if the accident is minor and there are no injuries. When you contact the police, the responding officer will take important information about both drivers to file a crash report that can be used to prove your claim to your insurance company later on.
Police reports are also important because these reports will contain crucial information about you, the other driver, and objective details about the crash and the vehicles involved in the crash. A police report may contain additional factual information, such as road conditions, weather conditions, and whether either driver was intoxicated, driving with an expired license, or other potential traffic law violations. Furthermore, if your case goes to trial, a jury may give more weight to an objective police report.
Ideally, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. Quickly speaking with your insurance company can get the ball rolling on your claims process, which may be important if you need to repair your vehicle or if you will need to miss work because you are recovering from an injury. Some people may need to wait to file an insurance claim until after they have received emergency medical care.
Sometimes, your own insurance policy may influence how you begin your recovery after a car accident. For drivers who have a medical payments coverage policy, this coverage allows your insurance company to pay the cost of medical bills for you and the passengers of your vehicle, even if you are considered at fault for the accident.
It may be especially important to contact your own insurance company quickly after an accident if the other driver does not have auto insurance. When you file an accident claim with your insurance company, and you have an additional coverage policy for medical costs, you will not need to pay for your medical bills out of pocket.
Sometimes, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you after an accident. Usually, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you to try to find information to use against you. The goal of the other driver’s insurance adjuster is to use information that will make you the at-fault driver.
If you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company after a car accident, the best thing you can do is politely end the call without offering any information about the car crash. Because you may be recorded during this call, it’s best to say as little as possible. You can always give the insurance company your lawyer’s information, so your lawyer can speak with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
In most states, the steps you should take after a car accident are the same. By following these steps, you will be able to recover your money, health, and stability after a car accident. After contacting the police, the main steps include:
If possible, you should move all vehicles involved in the accident out of the flow of traffic. If you have already taken pictures of your car and other evidence of the scene, moving your car out of the traffic flow will improve your safety after the accident. However, if you cannot leave your car or walk without pain, it’s best to remain in your car until help from a police officer or other first responder can arrive.
If you can, you should also gather the other driver’s insurance information, as well as information about the driver’s vehicle, such as the license plate number. You will need information about the other driver, as well, including the driver’s name, contact information, and other relevant details that will allow you to contact the other driver after the accident. If you miss this step, it may make it harder to file an insurance claim.
You may also want to gather witness information at this time, too. Witnesses will have a more objective version of events that can support your case. Ideally, you should ask eyewitnesses to speak to the police, so the witness testimony can be part of the official police report.
You should also seek medical attention after an accident. Even if you don’t think you are severely injured, receiving emergency care at a hospital is essential. Some people may suffer from whiplash after car accidents, while others may not notice serious injuries because of shock.
Additionally, receiving medical care after an accident is also important since some insurance companies will require medical records to approve claims after car accidents. In some cases, insurance companies or the other driver may deny your claim if you do not seek immediate medical attention. This is because the insurance company or other driver may suggest you were hurt by some other event after the accident. When you have medical records that match the date and time of the accident, your injury claims are more legitimate.
If you have been in a car collision, but your story and the other driver’s stories aren’t matching up, it could be because one driver is lying. Sometimes, drivers lie about their side of the story to avoid increased insurance rates, penalties like license suspension, or paying for the cost of damages. For a free consultation, contact Brian C. Gutierrez at 979-271-5338 today.
If you have been injured in a car accident in College Station, Bryan, Madisonville, Huntsville, Buffalo, Caldwell, Navasota, Buffalo, Rockdale, Hempstead, or Brenham, it is important to speak with a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and guide you through the claims process. At the Law Office of Brian C. Gutierrez, Attorney Brian Gutierrez is committed to providing personalized legal services for victims of car accidents. When you work with our firm, you are working directly with Attorney Gutierrez. Our clients are like family—contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the services we offer.
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