If the at-fault driver of a car accident denies liability, you still have the legal right to pursue and collect a settlement for your injuries – as long as that driver’s negligence did cause the crash.
Additionally, whether the police officers at the scene cited the other driver does not prove that the individual had no liability.
Your ability to collect a fair financial settlement depends on your (or your car accident lawyer’s) ability to prove that the at-fault driver’s behavior leading up to the accident demonstrated the four legal elements of negligence. It also requires gathering relevant evidence to submit with your injury accident claim, or to present in court.
How Does Denying Liability Affect the Other Driver’s Liability for a Car Crash?
After a car accident, any driver involved can claim they had no liability. However, the police can review the evidence at the scene and interview witnesses to establish what really happened.
To protect your legal rights as much as possible, you can take photos of the accident scene with your phone and collect the contact information of any witnesses that may be present.
You may also want to take a good look around to see if any surveillance cameras may have recorded the incident.
Talking to a car accident lawyer immediately after a car accident can also help preserve your rights to pursue a financial settlement for your injuries. The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can move quickly to obtain and preserve all relevant evidence. Witness memories tend to fade quickly after an accident, so interviewing them becomes a priority for protecting your case.
How Does the Police Report Affect the Other Driver’s Liability in a Car Accident?
Police officers rarely witness a car accident so, when they arrive at the scene, they must base their conclusions on the evidence available to them.
Sometimes police accident reports and citations simply get the facts wrong. The report may state that no one was at fault, and the police may not have issued any citations to the drivers involved. In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company may attempt to use the police report as justification for denying your claim, as it failed to state that their client was at-fault.
What if the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Denies Liability?
The at-fault driver can deny their liability without consequence to you. However, when their insurance company denies liability, the burden of proof shifts to you to prove the other driver was negligent. At this point, you need a car accident attorney.
Your lawyer can research the incident, collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses, to learn more about the conditions that led up to the crash. Your lawyer may also call on accident reconstruction experts to recreate the scene.
When your lawyer brings in a reconstruction expert known to the law enforcement and legal community, the resulting evidence can be especially compelling.
If the insurance company refuses to negotiate at that point, your lawyer may recommend taking your case to court.
Can You Submit a Claim to Your Own Insurance for a Car Accident?
In most cases, you can submit a claim for your vehicle repairs to your insurance company. If you explain why you believe the accident was the other driver’s fault, your insurance company may subrogate, which means they will pursue the other insurance company for repayment of your expenses.
You will have to pay your deductible, however, but your settlement will reimburse your out-of-pocket costs. If your insurance company elects not to pursue subrogation, however, you may face increased car insurance premiums.
How Will a Car Accident Lawyer Prove Negligence if the Other Driver Denies Liability?
Ultimately, the best way to prove that the other driver does have liability – despite what they may claim – is to demonstrate the four legal elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care;
- Breach of Duty;
- Causation, and
- Actual Damages.
First, your lawyer will demonstrate that the other driver had a duty of care to you. Drivers owe a duty of care to the public and other vehicles while on the road. This means they have an obligation to obey the law, and to obey posted speed limits and directional signage.
Second, if the other driver failed to uphold this duty of care, your lawyer will assert that they breached their duty to you. This may involve proving they drove recklessly, exceeded the speed limit, or sent a text message while driving.
Third, if an accident occurred because the other driver breached their duty, and if you subsequently sustained serious injuries, your lawyer will have demonstrated the third element of negligence, causation.
Finally, proving that you suffered actual damages requires your lawyer to provide proof of your injuries. This typically comes in the form of doctor and hospital bills, proof of lost wages, and medical expert statements or testimony regarding the type of treatment you require in the future.
The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine represents clients who sustained serious injuries and damages in a car accident, due to the negligence of another person or entity. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our Florida car accident lawyers.