After a crash, the drivers involved often have varying viewpoints about what happened. However, what if the differences in their statements are extreme? If you are the injured victim, how do you prove fault and establish negligence if driver accounts differ greatly?
At Schmidt Kramer, we have seen “he said, she said” types of crashes many times over. Although challenging to prove, there are ways to approach cases where driver accounts of a collision differ greatly. Our auto accident lawyers in Harrisburg know what evidence is needed to strengthen this type of claim, and we are prepared to help.
Do you have questions about recovering compensation after being injured in a crash? If so, you can call our firm 24/7 to discuss your situation and get answers to your legal questions today. We have a history of proven results, and your initial consultation is completely free.
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Why Would Driver Statements About a Collision Differ Greatly?
While driver statements about a crash are bound to vary a little, it is concerning if their accounts differ by a lot. It will also make any legal claim much harder to prove. This is because to establish liability for a crash, you must first prove there was negligence. If there was no negligence, there is no case.
How could two drivers have such different versions of how a crash happened? There are many reasons this might occur, including:
- Bad weather or low light made it hard for the drivers to clearly see what events led up to the crash.
- One or both drivers may have been distracted, so they said what they thought happened, rather than a retelling of actual events.
- Sometimes liability is unclear to those involved, such as if both drivers simultaneously merge into the same lane.
- The driver giving a different account to yours may have been impaired by fatigue, drugs or alcohol at the time.
- If poor vehicle maintenance contributed to the crash, such as if there was a tire blowout, the other driver may not initially realize it was his or her fault.
- Sometimes the other driver may purposely give a false account about what happened to avoid things like liability or increased premiums.
Is it Hard to Prove a Case When Driver Crash Statements Differ?
Make no mistake that proving liability when driver accounts are so different is much harder. This is why seeking legal help in this situation is often a good idea. To prove the other party’s negligence, an experienced attorney must be able to prove:
- The other driver had a legal duty to prevent causing you harm.
- That same driver breached that legal duty in some way, such as if he or she ran a red light and crashed into your vehicle.
- It was the at-fault party’s negligence that directly led to the crash and caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages, such as medical costs and lost wages, as a result of this negligence.
Your attorney will also know what evidence to look for that could help reveal what really happened in a “he said, she said” situation.
What Evidence May Prove Liability When Driver Crash Statements Differ?
There may be evidence from the crash scene that can help to support a claim where drivers do not agree on what happened. You can cautiously help gather this evidence after a collision. However, you should never attempt to do so if it puts you or someone else in harm’s way.
Useful evidence from the scene of the collision may include:
- The police report – be sure to review it when you get your copy and make sure it is error-free.
- Photos – include images of both vehicles together (where they came to rest after the crash can provide insight about what happened), damage to both vehicles, any crash debris or skid marks and your injuries
- Dash cam footage – not always available, but if you or the other driver had a dash cam recording, the footage may be useful in proving fault
- Traffic camera footage – if available, your attorney can request this footage
- Witness statements – witnesses are considered unbiased, therefore, if they are credible, their statements may carry significant weight in support of your claim
What Impact Does Credibility Have on This Type of Case?
Credibility, or the lack of it, can make or break any car crash case. This is important to understand, because the insurance company will research things about your witnesses to try to find a way to discredit them or their testimonies. This is why a knowledgeable attorney is careful to vet any witnesses to determine credibility and to see if there are holes in their statements.
That said, it is not just about how credible a witness is; driver credibility is also critical. For instance, if your case ends up in court, being credible means your version of the events is more likely to be believed by the jury. Whereas not being credible has the opposite effect.
Driver credibility can be impacted by many things in a legal case, such as whether:
- The statement seems true and details are consistent when retold.
- The person has a prior history or reputation for being dishonest or lying.
- The individual has a history of similar incidents or prior driving convictions.
- The person giving the statement has an attitude or is difficult versus being calm, confident and believable.
Contact Our Law Firm to Request Your Free Case Review Today
Car crash claims are often complicated. Seeking legal help right away can help ensure you avoid mistakes that could hurt your claim. We understand what to expect from the insurance company. We also know how to dispute their arguments for a low settlement offer.
Find out what legal options you may have by contacting our firm today. Your case review is completely free. We charge nothing up front or while we manage your case. In fact, we only get paid our fees if we win your case.
Experience matters. Call Schmidt Kramer today. (717) 727-1403