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Can you sue someone for lying about a car accident?

31st August 2020 Print
damaged car

A car accident is always an unfortunate event, and one that occurs far too often on American roads. Many of those accidents are relatively minor fender-benders, but some of them are far more serious and can leave those involved with severe injuries and heavy damage to their vehicles. While a car accident is always an unfortunate event, it is also typically a pretty straightforward event because it is usually clear which driver was at fault for the accident. There are cases where fault is difficult to determine but that is generally rare. Far more common are instances of drivers lying about their responsibility for the accident.

This can be a problem because the driver who was not at fault will need to get compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to take care of their accident-related expenses like medical and repair bills. If the negligent driver denies responsibility, then that can make the whole process more difficult. That is why you need to contact a car accident attorney after getting into a crash. They are useful when the situation is more straightforward, but they are invaluable when it gets complicated. If you live in the Orlando area, then you can contact Fasig and Brooks when you have been in a car accident.

Why Drivers Lie About Car Accidents

Negligent drivers will lie about their responsibility for a car accident because they do not want to face the repercussions of their actions. Those repercussions can be legal, financial, or both; those repercussions could also negatively affect their insurance and driver’s licence as well. So it is understandable if they want to avoid those problems by lying about their involvement in the accident. If the driver was clearly negligent, such as if they were intoxicated, speeding, or driving recklessly, then their lies will have little effect since there would be clear evidence of their guilt. 

Matters get more complicated when fault is harder to establish. That is because evidence may be harder to attain, there might be no evidence at all, or what evidence there is could be inconclusive. When there is any doubt about who caused the accident, a driver can easily lie and say that they were not responsible. Their insurance company will then try and back up their story because that means they will not have to pay a big settlement amount, which is good for their business. As long as their negligence is not clear to see, drivers have a lot of incentives to deny their responsibility for a car accident.

What To Do If a Driver Lies About a Car Accident

The first thing you can do is make it difficult for the other driver to lie about the accident. After a crash you should make sure that you do not admit fault or apologize to the other driver. Even an offhand or reflexive apology can be used and weaponized by the driver and their insurance company to say that you were partially or completely at fault for the accident. It is best if you speak to the other driver as little as possible after the accident; you can inquire if they are okay and ask for their insurance and contact information, but that should be it. You should avoid admitting fault to the officer on the scene as well, instead just answer their questions without saying or implying that you were at fault.

You can also take pictures of the accident scene before the police show up. Photos of the damage to each car as well as the general accident scene can help to prove who was actually at fault. Certain indicators like skid marks or the angle of impact can show who was at fault for the accident. If there are any witnesses around who can corroborate your version of events, then you should get their contact information as well.

Once the police arrive, they will examine the scene, ask questions, talk to any witnesses, and then put all of that information in their police report. That report will include who the officer believes to be at fault for the accident. That report holds a lot of weight, and in most cases the officer’s version of events will be accurate and in your favor. However, the police can get it wrong and if you find that the officer’s opinion differs from yours when your lawyer attains their report, then you need to make sure that your attorney and the officer both know this. That way the police report will help your case rather than hurt it. 

Your attorney will also attempt to gather more evidence such as surveillance camera footage if any in the vicinity caught sight of the crash when it happened. That is because your car accident attorney knows that the best way to combat dishonesty is with clear and impartial evidence.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney When You Get Into a Car Crash

You will want to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible after a car crash because you never know what will happen next. Maybe the other driver will be honest and cooperate or maybe they will lie and try to obstruct you. Either way a lawyer can help you to get the compensation you need. If the other driver lies, then they will claim that they are just telling their version of the truth. But there are no versions of the truth, there is just the truth. And your attorney will make sure that the truth gets heard.

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