When the at-fault driver lies to the police at the scene of a crash or later lies to the insurance company, it could create problems when you file an insurance claim. The good news is, there are steps you can and should take to help protect your legal interests as well as the value of your claim.
One of the most important you can do if the other driver lies about the crash is to consult with a knowledgeable Fort Worth auto accident lawyer.
At Anderson & Cummings, we have a team of highly qualified legal professionals who are prepared to help you recover the compensation you need. If we represent you, we also have the resources to fully investigate the crash and to help gather the evidence needed to build a strong case. More importantly, our experienced attorneys know how to dispute any lies the at-fault driver may be telling.
Our firm has staff available to take your call 24/7, and we offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options. If we find you have a case and you choose our firm to represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay.
Why Would an At-Fault Driver Lie on the Accident Report?
A driver who causes an accident because of his or her negligent actions may lie about what happened for several reasons. The main reason is often related to money. A person who lies in this situation is likely hoping to avoid liability for the crash and the higher insurance premiums that may follow.
Other common reasons for lying about causing a crash include if drivers were:
- Under the influence
- Hoping to avoid points on their driver’s license
- Worried that their license will be suspended
- Trying to avoid increased insurance premiums, a costly traffic ticket or fines
An at-fault driver may try to pin the blame on you for an accident. For example, a driver who failed to yield the right of way to you while you were in a merge lane may say you cut him or her off. Some negligent drivers may try to say a vehicle defect caused the crash. For instance, they might say that they were unable to stop in time due to faulty brakes.
It is important to remember that car insurers will look for any reason to underpay a claim. This could include evaluating your claim based on the at-fault driver’s statement, even if it is not true.
What Should I Do if the Driver Who Caused My Crash is Lying?
Even in situations where you are certain the driver who caused the crash is lying, it is best to stay calm. Do not engage or try to argue your point with this individual. It could make things much worse. It is also not a good idea to accuse the at-fault driver, despite knowing it was his or her negligence that caused the crash.
In a situation like this, emotions can get out of hand pretty quickly. You cannot know how someone may react to being called out on a lie. Rather than going that route, which is unlikely to yield anything positive, there are other things you can do.
Get the Police Involved
You should always call the police after a crash to make sure there is an official report of the incident. Taking this step can help in a couple of different ways. First of all, police are trained to investigate car crashes and they are good at discerning when someone is not telling the truth. The responding officer will investigate the crash scene and give all drivers involved an opportunity to give a statement. You may hear the at-fault party give an untrue statement, but it will not help your cause to get angry or shout or interrupt the conversation. It is much better to remain calm and then, when it is your turn, be sure to give a calm, but truthful statement to the officer.
An officer is very likely to spot an at-fault person who tries to lie about what may have caused the crash. For instance, if the at-fault person is trying to hide that he or she was driving under the influence. In this situation, it is likely that the officer will request a field sobriety test. That request is something that would get documented on a police report and may also be referenced later during your case. I
A police officer’s job is to conduct a preliminary investigation on the cause of the crash. If the at-fault driver tries to lie about how the accident happened, the officer may be able to contradict his or her story as an objective third party.
If you think the police report contains an error, such as a false statement from the at-fault driver, you should let your attorney know immediately. He or she can help you to get the error corrected as soon as possible.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
Getting examined and diagnosed immediately after the crash is critical, both to your health and any claim you may later file. It is especially vital in a situation where the at-fault party is trying to escape liability by lying to the insurance company about what happened.
Your medical records will provide solid evidence of your injuries, and getting examined straight away will help to link those injuries to the crash. Any delays give the insurance company, and a lying at-fault driver, room to say you could have been hurt elsewhere.
Maintain Consistency in Your Statements
It is worth mentioning, that you will have to repeat your statement multiple times. Not just on the day of the crash, but also throughout the legal process of recovering your damages. It is always easier to remember the truth than to try to retell the same lie. When someone lies, little inconsistencies will begin to arise. If you are working with an attorney, he or she will know how to use those inconsistencies to your advantage.
It is important to be consistent when relaying what happened. The driver who lies to avoid liability will find it very hard to remain consistent or to find evidence that supports his or her version of what happened.
Consistency may be even more important when you speak to the insurance company. They will most likely to ask you what happened multiple times in various ways and on several occasions. Insurance companies do this in an attempt to trip up someone who may be lying. They also do it to try to get you to say something they can use against you.
Get Witness Statements
Gathering statements from witnesses is another step you can take. If the witness is credible, he or she may be able to give a statement that supports your version of what happened. A witness statement could also establish that the at-fault driver is not being truthful. For example, say the at-fault driver lied about running a red light and several bystanders witnessed it. Statements from those witnesses may help contradict the claims of the at-fault driver. In turn, this not only casts doubt on the credibility of the at-fault driver, it strengthens your credibility as a plaintiff.
Solid crash scene evidence is another component that can strengthen your claim and help you prove the other driver lied. You may even be able to gather evidence at the scene. For instance, you could take photos of vehicle damage, including how both vehicles are positioned after the crash. You could capture traffic signs, crash debris and even show whether the weather was clear or inclement. These details may seem minor, but they may help to show other contradictions or inconsistencies made by the at-fault driver.
In addition to following up with any witnesses, your attorney may determine an accident reconstruction specialist is also needed. This type of expert is often brought in to investigate and clarify details in more complicated crash cases.
What Are the Consequences if Someone Lies to the Insurance Company in Texas?
Lying to the insurance company in Texas, or in any state, is insurance fraud. In Texas, those who commit insurance fraud could face from a class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Higher value insurance fraud cases could also face jail time – from five to ninety-nine years. The charges and penalties vary, based on the value of the false claim made.
Other consequences for lying to the insurance company could include:
- Denied claim
- Increased insurance premiums
- Cancelled insurance policy
- Difficulties getting car insurance in the future
- Various fines and penalties
- Criminal charges
What if the Person Who Hit Me Lies When I Am Not There?
Sometimes the at-fault driver may not say much while at the crash scene. They may, however, lie later on when notifying the insurance company about the incident. If this happens, you may have even more options for disputing these lies.
If you filed a police report, that documentation should have enough details to support your version of events. This is especially true if the driver tells the police the truth and only lies later, when speaking to the insurance company. In that situation, any lies should easily be debunked.
There are some cases when at-fault drivers fail to report accidents to their insurance companies. If this happens, you may be able to file a third-party liability claim with that driver’s insurance.
If the driver has lied to the insurance company about how his or her vehicle was damaged, you may need to prove you were hit by their insured driver. This is common in other situations as well, such as if a driver flees the scene of a crash to avoid having to admit fault. The driver may try to pass off damage to his or her vehicle by lying about what happened in order to persuade the insurance company to pay for repairs. However, insurance companies are not easily fooled.
Call an Experienced Texas Attorney Today
If you suspect the driver who caused your crash is lying about what happened to avoid liability, you should seek legal help right away.
The attorneys at Anderson & Cummings have over 50 years of combined experience helping injury victims like you recover maximum compensation.
An initial consultation at our firm is completely free, and there are no upfront fees to pay.
Call (817) 920-9000 today to request a FREE case review.