Ask a Car Accident Attorney: The Other Driver Says I Was the One at Fault… What Can I Do?

No one wants to be found liable for a car accident, especially if the damages are considerable. Unfortunately, you may face a situation that requires you to go up against a driver who accuses you of causing a crash that was actually their fault. Disproving arguments against you can be difficult, especially after they make their way into the police report. However, the right car accident attorney in Houston, TX can help you prove what really happened.

Why Are Some People Found Liable for Crashes They Did Not Cause?

Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that the at-fault driver assumes liability for all of the damages. Accordingly, both the other driver and their insurance company are incentivized to deny accountability.

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that are inclined to review accidents selectively. They are likely to prioritize evidence that will allow them to reduce their expenses by shifting blame onto the driver they do not insure. Unless lawyers are hired to dispute the findings of an insurance investigation, the insurance company is free to make whatever determination is in their interests.

How to Respond If the Other Driver Lies About the Accident

Being wrongly accused of causing an accident is frustrating. You may worry about how your medical expenses will be covered and whether or not you will be required to pay for the at-fault driver’s losses in addition to your own.

Fortunately, you have the legal right to contest the other driver’s version of the story, even if the insurance company agrees with it. The best thing to do is to stay calm and contact a car accident lawyer.

Do Not Lash Out

If the other driver accuses you at the scene of the crash, it is important not to overreact in front of any police officers or potential witnesses. Venting your frustration verbally will only serve to support the other driver’s accusations. Instead, take down the name of the responding police officer. Your lawyer may need to contact them about correcting erroneous information in the police report.  

Collect Your Own Evidence

Whether or not you know that the other driver intends to deny their responsibility for the crash, the best thing you can do to further your case is to document the incident as thoroughly as possible. Take detailed photos and videos of the two cars from multiple angles, and note the contact information of any bystanders. Going to the hospital, regardless of whether or not you feel injured, will allow the doctors to make an official record of your condition.

Check for Surveillance Footage

If your accident occurred at an intersection or another area that is likely to be under surveillance, footage of the crash may be available. The images obtained from a security camera might help you prove that the other driver ran a red light, turned illegally, or committed other driving infractions.

Consider Hiring an Expert Witness

Even if the police report indicates that you were at fault, you and your lawyer will have the opportunity to conduct your own investigation into the causes of the crash. Sometimes, getting to the bottom of the incident requires the input of an accident reconstruction expert who can testify on your behalf.

Preserve the Evidence

In a car accident case, physical evidence can help determine fault. Chipped paint, dents, and other forms of damage on the vehicles involved can indicate where you were hit and how the accident likely occurred. You should hold off on repairing your vehicle until all the damage is recorded. Your attorney may also help you obtain an order to preserve the other vehicle in its damaged condition.

Consult Your Attorney Before Giving a Recorded Statement

If there is confusion around who caused the accident, the other driver’s insurance company might ask you to give them a recorded statement. The purpose of the recorded statement is usually to reveal evidence against you that can be used to reduce the amount of money for which the insurance company is responsible.

Individuals are rarely required to consent to recorded statements unless they are seeking compensation from their own insurance companies. Your lawyer can look into your legal responsibilities and determine whether or not you have the right to refuse. Similarly, it is unlikely that you will be required to undergo an examination by a doctor of the insurance company’s choosing.

When Is the Other Driver Likely to Be Found Liable?

Regardless of what the other driver says, there are certain scenarios under which it is highly unlikely that a court would accept their story. Your case will be greatly strengthened if the investigation reveals that:

You Were Hit From Behind

A car that attempts to back out of an intersection or make another extreme maneuver may be found liable for a crash that causes damage to the back of the vehicle. However, a verdict against the driver who was in front is the exception rather than the rule. Your story will most likely prevail if you were hit from behind.

The Other Driver Was Turning Left

Drivers who are moving in a straight line have the right of way over drivers who are turning left. Accordingly, if the driver who hit you was attempting to make a left turn, they will most likely be found at fault.

The Other Driver Was Impaired or Distracted

 Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol almost always results in liability. Similarly, if you can show that the other driver was using a hand-held device at the time of the crash, they will most likely assume the bulk of the blame.

What Happens If You Are Found Partially Liable?

Even if the other driver has real evidence that you contributed to the accident, you may still qualify for compensation. In many cases, our attorneys can convincingly demonstrate that the other driver was 100% at fault. However, if it is not possible to completely disprove the statements against you, we will try to retain your eligibility for compensation by showing that your contributions to the crash were secondary.

What Kind of Compensation Can You Receive?

While the other driver may make it difficult to win compensation, securing a settlement is generally worth the effort. Depending on your injuries, you may be eligible for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

If the other driver is allowed to perpetuate the belief that you caused the crash, they may be able to demand the same damages from you. Therefore, getting to the truth of the matter can not only get you the compensation you deserve, but also defend you against spirious allegations.

Consult With a Car Accident Attorney in Houston, TX

Sorting out the details of a car accident can be challenging, especially if the person who hit you refuses to tell the truth. Our attorneys can help you prove that you deserve compensation for your injuries by determining the real cause of the crash.

By setting up an appointment with us, you will have the chance to tell your version of the story. After we assess your case, we can start preparing to counter the other driver’s statements with evidence-backed arguments in your favor. Our free consultations are available in both Spanish and English.

No one deserves to be implicated in an accident they did not cause, especially if they are owed compensation for their injuries. Our attorneys will help you pursue a just outcome. To get in touch with a car accident attorney in Houston, TX, contact Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner.