Dealing with a dispute over fault after a car accident can be overwhelming and time-consuming. When another driver’s insurance company claims their driver is not at fault for the collision, it is vital to dispute their assertion. Taking action immediately to dispute the insurance company’s fault determination is crucial for protecting your legal rights.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident
Determining fault after a collision involves thoroughly investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash. Some common causes of car accidents are:
- Aggressive driving, such as swerving or following too closely
- Distracted driving, such as texting, looking at driving directions, or eating while driving
- Driving while drunk or on drugs
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Driving while fatigued
- Vehicle malfunctions or defects, such as tire blowouts or brake failure
- Speeding, including going too fast for road conditions
Common Methods for Disputing Fault After a Car Accident
When an insurance company reviews your claim and denies it because they don’t believe their insured is at fault, you should dispute their finding immediately. Typically, there are multiple ways to dispute the insurance company’s finding of fault or show them that you’re willing to fight for the compensation you deserve, including:
- Contact the insurance company – When an insurance company denies your claim, they should send you a letter explaining the denial and containing information on how to dispute. If it doesn’t contain information on how to formally disagree with their decision, you can contact them for more information. Some companies may require written or oral statements. It is crucial to consult an attorney before making statements to dispute a claim because everything you say can be used as evidence.
- Amend the police report – Many insurance companies rely on the indication of fault made in the police report when establishing fault. However, a police report’s statement of fault could be wrong because it is based on the officer’s observations and conversations after the collision. You can request an amendment when an officer makes a mistake and indicates that the wrong person caused the crash. Sometimes they may require evidence to show that the request is valid.
- Dispute a traffic ticket – Law enforcement may issue citations when a collision occurs. Getting a ticket after a car crash can influence an insurance company’s determination of fault. Therefore, you should dispute the citation if you believe it was issued in error. Even if you’re unsuccessful in getting the ticket dismissed, your effort shows the insurer that you are willing to fight for justice.
What to Do After a Car Crash
After a collision, it is vital that you take steps to protect your legal rights. These steps may include:
- Checking to see if everyone is okay and calling 911 if anyone needs medical attention
- Exchanging information with other drivers and passengers
- Getting contact information of any witnesses to the collision
- Reporting the collision to the police so they can create a police report
- Documenting the events leading up to the collision, including the location of vehicles, direction of travel, and weather conditions
- Informing your insurance company of the collision, even if you didn’t cause it
- Seeking medical attention even if you feel fine and following your doctor’s instructions
- Refraining from using social media until the case is resolved
- Keeping detailed records of your medical documents, bills, and anything related to the crash
- Avoiding conversations with the insurance company unless your attorney is present
- Consulting an experienced car accident attorney who can help you with the claim process
- Not signing any documents without thoroughly reviewing them and having your attorney look at them
How an Attorney Can Help You Dispute Fault After A Car Accident
A skilled car crash attorney can ease your stress surrounding the claim process and help you get a fair settlement. Some common ways an attorney can help are:
- Investigation – Attorneys have the skill and resources to thoroughly investigate your collision and gather the evidence necessary to build a strong case.
- Negotiation – Dealing with insurance companies is a pain because they are likely trying to protect their bottom line by limiting how much they compensate you for your losses. Having an experienced attorney negotiate on your behalf can make a substantial difference in your compensation because they know how to handle the back and forth.
- Representation – If you cannot resolve the dispute or reach a fair settlement agreement, you can take your case to trial. Having a car accident attorney represent you in court can increase the odds of a favorable outcome.
Contact a Gibson Hill Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer Today
Disputing fault in a car crash is complex but crucial to protecting your rights and seeking the compensation you deserve. At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we understand how frustrating it is to prove you didn’t do something, but our legal team is ready to help.