You probably already know what to do if you are in a car accident, but what do you do when the other driver won’t admit fault or the other driver denies responsibility?
The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Cousin Benny tell you what you need to know about someone hitting your car and denying it or denying liability for a car accident.
If you were in a car accident and the other driver won’t admit fault or accuses you of causing the accident, call Cousin Benny for help. We discuss your case with you free of charge and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Situations Where the Other Driver May Have Been Negligent
The other driver may want to try to avoid liability for causing the accident if any of the following applies:
Calling or Texting while Driving
Using a cell phone while driving is illegal almost everywhere, whether you are speaking on the phone while driving or texting someone while driving. In states where cell phone use while driving is permitted, it must be “hands free” – speakerphone or bluetooth through the car’s entertainment system.
Exceeding the speed limit results in having less time to decide how to respond to road, weather, and traffic conditions. Not having enough time to brake or avert an accident often results in sideswipes and rear-end collisions.
Evidence of excessive speed includes significant damage to the vehicles involved and tire skid marks on the macadam.
If the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident, they are not only liable for the accident but subject to DUI charges, loss of license, and substantial fines and fees. There is great incentive to deny driving under the influence and the driver may get away with it if there is no police report.
What are the Four Elements of Negligence that Must Be Met?
A car accident lawsuit is based on negligence theory. Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state, meaning that a driver 50% or less at fault for causing the accident can recover damages, and that driver’s damages will be reduced by the percentage they are at fault.
1. Duty of Care
Every motorist owes a duty of care to other motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, and others sharing the roads to follow the law and act as a reasonable driver would under the circumstances.
2. Breach of Duty of Care
Breaches of a motorist’s duty of care to others sharing the roadway may include speeding, failing to observe a traffic sign or red light, tailgating, failing to use turn signal while changing lanes or turning, driving too fast for road or weather conditions, failing to yield to the driver with the right of way, and failing to keep their vehicle in good repair.
The motorist’s breach of the duty of care must have incurred damages, such as injuries, damage to the vehicles involved, or death.
Damages may include compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, and in the case of serious injury, future medical care and compensation for loss of future earning capacity. Damages may also include emotional cost such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
In the case of wrongful death, family members may sue for their loved one’s medical, funeral, and burial expenses as well as loss of financial support and loss of guidance and companionship.
Why You Should File a Police Report
The police should assess the scene, make the scene safe, and formally report their findings. They may also issue tickets if warranted.
For example, if someone is rear-ended, the police may look for evidence of skid marks showing the other driver braked suddenly when they realized, too late, that they were going to hit the vehicle in front of them. They will also look at the extent of damage to both vehicles, another indicator of speed, and assess the condition of the drivers involved to see if any were driving while impaired.
These facts should be memorialized in a police report, which you can obtain to help your car accident case. If any facts in the report are incorrect and affecting your ability to get the insurance company to pay you, contact a car accident attorney for help. They will investigate, help you rectify the report, and get you paid.
If police do not file a report or do not attend the scene, you can file a report of the accident with the police. Include all of the evidence you collect, including identifying information for the drivers involved and pictures of the scene and other vehicles.
Other Evidence You Should Collect in a Car Accident
If you are able, take photos of the scene, road and weather conditions, the other vehicles involved, damage to those vehicles, license plate numbers and any business name on the vehicle, and the other drivers.
Get the insurance and driver’s license information for the other drivers involved, and share your information with them.
If there were witnesses, get their cellphone numbers in case you need their testimony.
What If the Police Say You’re At Fault for a Car Accident?
The police report may be inconclusive, or they may conclude that you were at fault for causing the accident. This conclusion, right or wrong, will decrease the chance you will get fully compensated for your car accident claim, if you receive any compensation at all.
An experienced car accident lawyer in your jurisdiction will help; you rectify the police report and fight any tickets issued to you, and maximize your car accident compensation.
When Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
The issue of fault in Pennsylvania car accidents is hotly contested for good reason – plaintiffs want to show they are less at fault to get more in compensation, and defendants’ insurance companies want to show plaintiffs are more at fault to reduce the amount they must pay them.
Don’t try to fight the insurance companies on your own – they hire legal teams to find each and every way to minimize the amount they pay out. You need to balance the scales and have an experienced car accident attorney on your side to fight back and get the compensation you deserve.
If you did not get help from a car accident lawyer yet, you probably need a lawyer if:
- there is no police report
- there is a police report and the report concluded you were at fault
- there is a police report concluding you share fault with the other driver
- there is a police report and there is no conclusion
- the insurance company offers you a low-ball settlement
- the insurance company is delaying paying your claim
- the insurance company denied your claim
About Cousin Benny
The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Cousin Benny treat you like family. We take your car accident case on contingency, meaning we do not get paid unless and until you do.
Call us today to discuss your car accident claim, free of charge!