If the Other Driver Says You Are At Fault
It is pretty common for both drivers involved in an accident to say that the collision was the other driver’s fault. So what happens if you find yourself in this situation? First things first, make sure you never get into a debate about fault at the scene of the accident. You should not even discuss it. Instead, take lots of pictures of the accident, as well as any damage to both vehicles. You should also get the contact information of anyone who might have witnessed the accident. This guide will explain what happens next.
Leave It to the Insurance Companies
Most of these cases end in the insurance companies settling the matter. The insurance companies will investigate the case, asking questions of both drivers and getting as much information as possible. You should give your insurance company all the pictures and witness information you took.
Most of the time, the insurance companies will mutually decide which driver is at fault, or if there is shared fault. Then, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will pay the other, both drivers will be compensated by their insurance providers, insurance rates may rise, and the matter is officially settled.
Ending Up in Court
Sometimes, however, these matters will have to go to court. If this happens, a jury will be the one to decide which driver is at fault, and the judge will decide how much the responsible driver owes the other. A case may go to court for any of the following reasons:
- The insurance companies cannot decide who is at fault
- One or both drivers do not have insurance
- The driver who is initially determined to be at fault cannot afford to pay the out-of-pocket amount
If a case goes to trial, then both drivers will need to hire attorneys, like a car accident lawyer in Denver, CO from Richard J. Banta, P.C., to represent them and the argument will be had in front of a judge and jury. These kinds of cases are usually relatively fast compared to most court cases which can last months or years. When the jury comes to a decision, the driver who is determined to be at-fault must pay the other for the damages to the vehicles and any potential medical bills. Sometimes it is possible for the insurance company to still pay even after the case has gone to trial.
You should never try to represent yourself if your case goes to trial. This is an especially bad idea if the other driver hires an attorney. It is very difficult to make a compelling case without legal training.