You’ve been in a car accident in Charleston, South Carolina. You were not at fault but the person who was at fault, meaning the person who actually caused the accident, is lying about what happened. In my experience, this situation is not common but it can happen. Fault is always a critical factor in a car accident because it can have a drastic impact on the amount of compensation you might be entitle to, if any. If an insurance company has absolutely any basis to deny a claim, they will and they are certainly likely to believe the person who is lying to provide them a basis for denial. If you find yourself in this position after a car accident, we have recommendations to help protect your rights.
1) Stay Calm And Do Not Argue With The Other Driver
You should always avoid confrontation after a car accident at all costs. I know this can be difficult at times because you certainly have the right to be angry, but arguing with the other driver can only hurt your claim. First, if a driver is lying about the accident, it is very unlikely you are going to change their mind by arguing with them. Additionally, depending on what you say and when you say it, this information may be admissible at trial. Thus, if you come across as angry and argumentative with the other driver, a may not sit well with a potential juror and could impact your final resolution of the claim.
2) Call The Police and Ask For An Ambulance If You Need Medical Help
You should always, and I mean always, contact the police after a car accident. This is true whether there are any injuries or not, as you will need a police report and proper documents to submit to your insurance company even for a property damage claim. If you are injured, you should also request an ambulance. Do not let an angry driver talk you out of calling the police. Upon arrival, the police will interview all parties involved and any potential witnesses to the accident.
3) If Possible, Take Pictures Of The Scene and Gather Witnesses
Pictures can be a vital tool to help prove fault in an auto accident claim. However, I would only recommend you try to take pictures if you are in a condition to do so. If you are significantly injured, you should not move and wait on help. Pictures can often be used with expert witnesses such as accident reconstructionists to help recreate the accident and determine fault. Likewise, you should see if there are any potential witnesses available that saw the accident. If you find a witness, ask them to stay until the police arrive to take their statement. If they are unable to do so, try to take their name and telephone number so that they can be contacted at a later time. I have had many car accident cases where a third-party witness was my strongest ally in proving fault.
4) Be Consistent With Your Story
Stick with your story. Consistency is crucial. After a car accident, you will have to explain your story multiple times to multiple people. This could include the police, the insurance company, your attorney, the insurance company’s attorney, during a deposition and, potentially, at trial. Theses statement will often be recorded so if there are any inconsistencies in your story then you will likely be attached on your credibility. I always tell my clients that the easiest way to stick to your story is to simply tell the truth. You don’t need a good memory if you are not lying.
An Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help
These are just a couple of tips that could help in the event the at-fault driver is lying about the circumstances of the accident, but it will not always guarantee you that you will get a favorable outcome. There are also many situations when more than one driver can be at fault. Under South Carolina law, you can still be entitled to compensation even if you are partially at fault for the accident, but the insurance company is likely to deny your claim completely.
If you find yourself in this situation, please feel free to contact the Law Office of Jared C. Williams, LLC at (843) 991-6528 to speak with us about your rights. Our Charleston, South Carolina car accident lawyers have experience handling car accident claims where the at-fault driver has denied fault. If you have an experienced attorney on your side, this scenario can often times benefit you in the outcome of your case.