Car accidents are one of the most common kinds of accidents around the world. In fact, they are responsible for a huge number of annual fatalities in populated countries where traffic is always busy. The reasons behind car accidents are usually speeding, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, or simply bad luck. However, in many cases, it is hard to correctly judge which driver was at fault and which was the victim. If you would like to know how you should act in this regard if you ever get in a car accident yourself, you have come to the right place. Here are some expert tips that can help you prove fault in a car accident.
Don’t Leave the Accident Scene
After the car accident takes place, it is best to pull over and wait until the police arrive and report the incident. If you leave at any point, the other driver might make some subtle changes that would make it look like you are the one to blame. Changing the car alignment, or getting rid of a beer bottle they were consuming while driving, are all important details that you need to be aware of.
Call Your Lawyer
Before you take any actions, you should contact your lawyer so that they can advise on what you should/shouldn’t do or say. Specialized lawyers also have enough experience to draw an effective plan on how to prove that the other driver is at fault. Your lawyer will also take the burden off you and handle all the legalities so that you can focus on healing.
Copy of the Police Report
When a police officer arrives at the scene, he/she will draft the report in their own words. Sometimes the officer will mention in the report their opinion of what had caused the accident. You have the right to ask for a copy so that you can use it as proof of the other driver’s negligence. Even in cases where the officer doesn’t explicitly mention which party was at fault in the report, you can use it for leverage when you are building your case. In addition, you will need to submit a copy of the police report with the claim file to your insurance company to cover the costs of your car repairs.
Don’t Give Any Statements
If you don’t have a lawyer, you should hire one who is experienced in personal injury and specifically in car accidents. As you will get to know, your lawyer will strictly instruct you to not give any statements that might be used against you. According to Jeff Preszler with Preszler Law, if you get into a car accident, do not take the blame for the accident and admit that it was your fault since this can lead to legal troubles in the future. Changing your statements will make you seem insincere in front of the judge and the jury if your case goes to court. The best thing you can do is to be confident and consistent when claiming that the accident wasn’t your fault.
Get Access to Surveillance Footage
Your lawyer can request a court order to give you access to the footage from surrounding surveillance cameras. Surveillance cameras are everywhere now, so you will surely find one on top of an office building or outside a nearby convenience store that caught the accident. This can act as strong evidence that you are telling the truth and aren’t to be blamed.
Take pictures of your injuries and your car damages for proof that you are not the one at fault in the accident. Make sure you capture the positioning of the cars involved in the accident and any other pieces of evidence that you think might help like road construction or broken traffic signs. If your injuries prevent you from taking the pictures yourself, you can ask for any witnesses around to do it for you.
Having a neutral party like an eyewitness to take your side and who can testify to what they witnessed can strengthen your position and make your job to prove the other driver is to blame much easier. Before you leave the accident scene, make sure you get the witness’ contact information so you can reach them if your case will be taken to court. If you can manage to get more than one witness it’ll be even better for your case.
The Kind of Damages on Your Car Can Be Proof Enough
In some cases, there can’t be a doubt about which driver is at fault in a car accident. In rear-end collisions for example the driver in the back vehicle is always at fault. If the police officer states in the report that it was a rear-end collision, you won’t need to look for any more evidence. Even if the police officer doesn’t mention it explicitly, the damages to the rear of your car will suffice to support your claim. However, if for any reason the other driver can prove that the accident was partially your fault, you might end up with a smaller compensation than what you initially demand.
Proving Traffic Law Violations
If your lawyer can prove that the other driver has broken at least one traffic law, the odds will be in your favor and it will become easier to prove that it wasn’t your fault. Be it speeding or driving under the influence, traffic laws are supposed to be followed by all drivers at all times, so any violations that result in endangering other people’s lives will not be tolerated by the law.
Car accident cases can take longer than needed. Your lawyer will advise you to be patient and to not accept taking the blame just because you want to get it done with and move on. As mentioned above, this can be legally held against you later on. Use the above tips to help your lawyer to finalize your case and get you the compensation that you deserve as the victim. Make sure you act fast and report the accident immediately to improve your chances of winning the case.