The person to blame for a crash is the one with financial responsibility for its consequences. The police report often indicates which driver is actually at fault for the crash. The determination of the officer in the report can influence the outcome of insurance claims and determine whether those affected by a wreck have the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against the other party involved.
Unfortunately, given that causing a crash means taking on the financial consequences of that wreck, many people will lie in an attempt to avoid personal responsibility for the collision. How do you prove that the other driver, not you, was to blame for the crash?
- Document the collision carefully
A lot can happen between when the crash first occurs and when a police officer finally arrives at the scene to take your statement. It is common practice for people to move their vehicles out of the road, but you may need to delay doing that for a few minutes while you take pictures and video footage of the scene of the crash. Careful documentation can help with recreation efforts later and can prove that your version of events is the one closest to the truth.
- Look for video footage or witnesses
You may have installed a dashboard camera on your vehicle for exactly this reason. When it is your word against another driver’s, having video footage of the collision itself or the moments right before the wreck could be the deciding factor when a police officer determines fault for the crash.
The other driver or people near you in traffic may also have dash cam footage. There could also be security camera or traffic camera footage. Even if there isn’t video footage of the rack, there may be other drivers or nearby pedestrians who saw the other driver do something unsafe right before the crash.
- Obtain phone records
Police officers researching a car crash can obtain certain phone records or app usage data that can help validate claims that someone engaged in distracted driving. That data could play a key role in the crash report or in a personal injury claim that you later bring against the other driver, which makes it important that you notify the officer of your suspicion of illegal technology use.
Provided that there is evidence supporting your version of events, a police officer may designate the other driver as the one at fault for your crash, which will make it much easier for you to file an insurance claim or possibly a personal injury lawsuit. Knowing how to prove the other driver’s culpability can help you better advocate for yourself following a motor vehicle collision.