What If the Other Party Lies on a Car Accident Report?
After a car accident, the negligent party’s insurer must compensate victims for the costs associated with injuries and property damage. Deciphering who is at fault after a car accident can be difficult even when both parties are acting with integrity. When the other party lies on a car accident report, it can make the situation more difficult. To protect yourself after an accident, explain the situation to an attorney who has experience with the complexities of Pennsylvania’s traffic laws.
What to Do When the Other Party Lies on a Car Accident Report
Determining fault can be a he said/she said situation. The best defense against deception from another party is to provide the most accurate information. This means keeping careful track of the incident the minute it happens. Exchanging information with the other driver(s) is important, but it is of little use if you cannot prove the truth in an accident. Witnesses, documentation and accurate police information are crucial for proving your side of the story.
Report the Accident and Take Photos
As soon as an accident happens, take notice of the important details. If you have your phone on hand, take pictures of all damages on each car, and try to gather witnesses. You should also report the accident immediately to the police, and request they stop at the scene. An officer will do a thorough investigation with available witnesses, which can be an invaluable resource down the road.
Fraud is a serious issue, and lying to the police – especially to collect fraudulent insurance claims – is a major concern. It is harder to establish guilt in a criminal court than a civil court, but civil courts can use evidence from criminal trials.
File a Police Report
You can file a police report even if the police do not stop at the scene. Gather statements, and report the details and documentation to the police. Whatever you do, never admit fault. If you are reasonably certain the other party is at fault, you may mention this in your report, but it is not required if you are unsure. Accidentally admitting fault is a serious issue if the other party makes fraudulent claims.
Keep in mind lying about an accident is a criminal offense. If the other driver deliberately distorts the story to avoid consequences, this person is committing a crime. Unfortunately, it is difficult to press charges for criminal conduct because it must be beyond a reasonable doubt. Your best defense, then, is to have a solid, accurate story backed by physical and witness evidence.
Call Your Insurance Company
Do not try to hide your accident from your insurance provider. In most locations, your rates will not increase if you are not at fault. When you call your insurance company, give them the same story you gave to the police. Provide your insurance company with the information and evidence of your story to establish a solid case. Remember: The insurance agents will generally take your side because they do not want to pay out damages if they can avoid it.
Your insurance provider will conduct its own investigation, including to decide fault for the accident. Make sure that your story is accurate and supported with evidence to avoid issues. While the company may initially take your side, you will want solid proof of your story to establish credibility.
Explain the Situation to Your Attorney
If your case relies on the confession of the other party admitting negligence and he or she lies about that negligence, you may need the help of an attorney. Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on the integrity of others, but you can trust Hal Waldman & Associates to protect your best interests after a Pittsburgh car accident.