What Should I Do if the At-Fault Driver Lied to the Insurance Company?

lie detector resultsSometimes the driver who caused a California car crash lies to the insurance company about what happened. While victims have the right to be angry, one of the most important steps they should take is to contact an experienced attorney. He or she may be able to help you disprove the at-fault driver’s lies and pursue the compensation you need.

If you were injured in a crash in the Sacramento area, call our Sacramento car accident lawyers to review your claim and see how our attorneys may be able to help you. There are no upfront costs for representing you.

Below, we discuss some common lies told by at-fault drivers. We also discuss legal options when the other driver is lying about the crash.

What do At-Fault Drivers Lie About?

It may be difficult to dispute liability for certain types of accidents and a driver may have no choice but to admit fault. However, there are other situations when an at-fault driver may be adamant that he or she was not responsible for the crash and may go to great lengths to deny fault, including lying to the insurance company.

Negligent drivers may lie about many things, including:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – An impaired driving conviction can result in a fine and years of probation. However, if the victim suffers significant injuries, the offense can be bumped up to a felony. That means the driver could spend time in prison and face a significant fine.
  • Speeding – Drivers may lie about how fast they were going before the crash. If the driver was going well over the speed limit, the driver may say he or she was traveling at or below the speed limit.
  • Tailgating your car – The driver may say you slowed down with no warning and he or she did not have enough time to stop. When asked about his or her distance from your car, the driver may say there was plenty of space and that was not an issue in the collision.
  • Distracted driving – It can be hard to dispute fault if the driver was distracted. That gives the driver a strong incentive to lie.
  • Drowsy driving – Commercial truck drivers who dozed off behind the wheel due to exhaustion or the use of prescription medication may also be inclined to lie about it.
  • Running a red light – The at-fault driver may say the light was yellow or that you must have run a red light. The driver is trying to make excuses for trying to cross an intersection when he or she did not have the right of way.

Why Do At-Fault Drivers Lie About Car Accidents?

The simplest answer to this question is so they can avoid liability. If they are found at fault and the insurance company pays damages to the victim, the at-fault driver’s insurance premiums may increase.

Some accidents, such as drunk-driving crashes or accidents that result in significant injury or even death, can result in criminal penalties. In these situations, drivers may lie to try to avoid these charges or at least avoid jail time. For example, if a driver was distracted and drove the wrong way, a collision with another car could be fatal. The distracted driver may face civil and criminal penalties.

Another reason drivers may lie about car accidents is because they are angry that they have been inconvenienced by an accident. They may blame you, even though you were operating your vehicle safely. These drivers may be experiencing road rage, or they may be taking out their frustrations about their lives on the victim of the crash.

What Happens if You Lie About What Happened in a Car Accident?

Unfortunately, you cannot sue the other driver simply for lying about the car accident. However, the other driver may face consequences unrelated to your claim for injuries and damages suffered in the crash, such as:

  • Cancellation of his or her insurance policy – This would not affect your claim. However, once your claim is concluded, the insurance company may be within its rights to cancel the policy and stop providing coverage to the driver.
  • Increase in insurance premiums – The insurance company may force the driver to pay more money to maintain coverage. The reason for this is the driver is now a risky investment.
  • Classification in a high-risk category – The insurance company could place this classification on the driver, and it will follow the driver. That means, when he or she tries to buy a policy with another insurance company, they will know about this classification.

Another consequence of the driver lying is that insurance companies continue to be suspicious of people who file claims. They may wonder if victims are lying, which could cause them to deny or underpay claims.

The bottom line is that, often nobody wins when an at-fault driver lies about a car accident. The at-fault driver is likely to be found out, and honest policyholders may suffer by having a harder time securing compensation when they file claims.

How do You Prove the Other Driver Lied?

If the at-fault driver is denying fault at the scene of the accident, it is best not to argue. These are some of the practical steps you can take to defend your rights.

Call the Police

Make sure to contact the police so they will file a police report and speak to anyone who witnessed the accident who is willing to provide a statement to back up your version of the facts.

The police report may provide strong support for your claim if the other driver was issued a citation. For example, maybe the other driver was cited for things like:

  • Following too closely
  • Driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving

Before the police arrive at the scene, you can take photos of the scene and damage to your vehicle. These pictures can go a long way to proving fault for a crash and backing up your version of events.

Explain What Happened

When the responding officer asks you what happened, calmly explain what you remember. Your lawyer can collect additional evidence and help ensure your account of events is consistent throughout the legal process.

A consistent account of the crash that is backed up by strong evidence can disprove the at-fault driver’s lies. Even though the insurance company may not be interested in confirming your version of the accident, when the statements from the two drivers do not line up the insurance company must investigate. If your narrative is the same each time you tell the story and the other driver’s story is inconsistent with your version of events, the truth should eventually prevail.

Write Down What You Remember

You may want to do this while waiting for the police to arrive. You can also do so afterward but do not share what you wrote with anyone except your lawyer. You could easily forget important details if you do not write them down. These details can be vital to the success of your claim.

Go to the Hospital Right Away

Car crash claims are not just about proving fault for the crash, you also need to prove you were injured. You do this by getting treatment right after the crash. Waiting to seek treatment gives the insurance company room to dispute how your injuries happened.

Contact a Licensed Attorney With Experience in Car Crash Cases

You should hire an experienced attorney with a proven record because he or she will know how to prove a case. He or she can take the evidence you may have collected, such as pictures from the scene, and gather additional evidence. He or she will know how to dispute lies about the accident.

A lawyer will also have access to resources like accident reconstruction experts. Lawyers can take formal steps to preserve and request evidence, such as surveillance or traffic camera footage.

What Are My Legal Options For Recovering Compensation?

If the other driver is at fault, he or she is liable for your damages. You can seek compensation from the driver’s insurance policy.

However, the at-fault driver’s lies could make things more complicated. While most cases settle, this type of case may need to go to court. This is something that needs to be evaluated by an experienced attorney. Sometimes insurance companies believe their policyholder and are willing to fight for that belief in court.

The severity of your injuries also plays a role in whether the case goes to trial. If you have severe injuries your case will be worth more money and insurers often fight hard to avoid paying full compensation for these kinds of injuries. Lawyers often recover more compensation in the courtroom than through a settlement.

Need Helping With Your Claim? Call Us Today

If your insurance claim was denied because of a lie or misleading statement the other driver made to his or her car insurance company, you should seek legal help.

With help from one of our experienced attorneys, you may be able to appeal the denied claim and recover the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Our attorneys are prepared to help you collect the evidence you need to build a strong case against the at-fault driver.

We do not charge you anything up front and only get paid if we recover compensation on your behalf. With a track record of recovering millions in compensation, our attorneys are prepared to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to reach a favorable settlement.

Call (916) 777-7777 to schedule your free consultation.