What to Do if the At-Fault Party Lies to Their Insurance Company About a Car Accident
Some drivers might go to great lengths to avoid being held liable in a car accident, including lying to their insurance company about who was at fault. There were instances when a driver lied about being under the influence of alcohol or drugs during an accident. If the driver at fault can shift the blame to someone else, they might be able to avoid time in jail, expensive fines, or loss of their license. If you are the victim of an accident, you can protect yourself from their lies.
An experienced California car accident lawyer will likely have run into this situation before. Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. has the knowledge and expertise to expose the other driver’s lies and hold them liable for the accident and injuries suffered.
How to Handle a Dishonest Driver at the Scene of the Accident
There is no reason to argue with the other driver at the accident scene. Just document what occurred and write the facts down. You take photos of the vehicle position and the vehicle damage with your smartphone. You should ask the other driver calmly for a copy of their license and insurance particulars so you can start an insurance claim.
Call the police and request medical assistance.
Never hesitate to call 911 to request an ambulance if you need one. Do not be talked into not calling emergency services because the other driver suggests the accident is minor and you don’t need medical help.
Leave it to the police and medical personnel to do their jobs and assess the accident scene. The police, ambulance, and hospital will generate reports that will become critical evidence later, especially if liability becomes contested during the claim process.
Take photos of the accident scene.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Photos are indisputable evidence for many car accident cases because they clearly show who is at fault. A picture of a smashed front bumper into the rear of a car indicates a rear-end accident. If you are in a vehicle that was rear-ended, that photo should be enough to assure you will be able to obtain compensation for the accident injuries.
Speak to witnesses.
Witness statements are an excellent source of proof. Witnesses have no vested interest in the accident claim, so they have no reason to lie. For each witness, you will need the name, phone number, or other contact information. Each witness should provide a clear description of what they saw and heard. A signed statement from a witness is worth its weight in gold. If you are hurt, try to have someone else at the scene speak to witnesses on your behalf.
Don’t let a dishonest driver pressure you into not seeking justice and compensation for your accident. An experienced California personal injury attorney should be able to advise you of your legal rights and options if you’re injured in a car accident.
How Police Determine Accident Liability
Once police have arrived at the accident scene, they will talk to all the parties involved in the accident separately. They will determine what happened and who was at fault based on their observations of the accident scene and each driver’s statement. Officers may talk to passengers in the involved vehicles or other eyewitnesses who saw the accident and agree to make a statement. Then, the officer will issue a citation to the at-fault driver for whatever traffic violation occurred.
What if there were no eyewitnesses or passengers?
The most significant factor that helps police officers determine fault is the damage to all vehicles involved in the accident. At the point of impact, there should be skid marks on the pavement or debris from vehicle damage that can point to what happened. If you took pictures on your smartphone of the vehicle as they were positioned before the officer arrived, you could share those with the officer.
Stay consistent and accurate with your story about the accident.
You will be speaking to the police, doctors, treatment professionals, lawyers, and insurance investigators. Make sure your story is factually accurate and stick only to what you know. You must remain consistent when speaking about your account of the accident because inconsistencies will be deemed to be lies by the officer and the at-fault party’s insurer.
What if the Police Officer Believes the Other Driver?
Sometimes the police officer may believe the lie of the other driver. This can make things difficult. It can be highly discouraging to know that you didn’t do anything wrong yet still face legal problems. While it might require time and effort, there are some things that can be done to help the situation.
Do some legwork to find some video or photographic evidence or witness statements.
If the accident happened near a store or business, ask someone if they have any surveillance cameras that might have filmed some of the accident. You will want to do this soon after the accident. Many security systems are set to overwrite old footage within a certain number of days. You should also keep any photographs that you took of the accident for later evidence.
Did you notice any public buses or delivery vehicles near the accident? Often, these types of vehicles have dash cameras installed that might have caught the accident. See if they will agree to give you or your lawyer a copy of the footage.
Your best defense will be to contact a California car accident lawyer that will stand up for you by aggressively helping to gather evidence. An experienced lawyer should be able to fight the traffic citation and get the fault shifter back over to the responsible party so you can be appropriately compensated for any damages and injuries you sustained.
Speak to a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been the victim in a car accident and need the help of an experienced lawyer, contact Eric Ratinoff for a free consultation. Eric Ratinoff has more than 25 years of professional experience as a seasoned personal injury trial lawyer. He has successfully recovered millions for clients.
Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay unless we win. Call us at (916) 970-9100 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, or contact us online today.