As a driver, you likely understand there are hazards out there and that accidents happen, even when you try to avoid them. You follow the rules of the road and make sure your car is properly insured, but some drivers behave unpredictably. When another driver hits your car and lies about his or her actions or leaves the scene of an accident, it’s often difficult to prove that he or she even hit your car. When you or your passengers sustain injuries, figuring out how to prove the other driver’s wrongdoing is important.
When someone won’t acknowledge their negligent driving, the police, your passengers, and your insurance company could hold you responsible. It affects your driving record, increases your insurance premiums, and prevents you from making a liability claim for injury-related damages. Only evidence and a skillful lawyer can disprove the lie.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hit by Another Driver
Despite any annoyance or frustration you feel in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, you must remember what’s important and act accordingly. Here are the steps to take:
• First, Call the Police: If you can access your cell phone, call 911. If not, request that a bystander make the call for you. Leaving an accident scene is a crime. When the other driver sticks around but simply lies about the circumstances, you will need the police to document both versions as well as the physical evidence.
•Arrange Emergency Medical Treatment: When you call 911, ask the operator to send emergency medical services, even if you don’t believe anyone has suffered an injury. It’s important to be evaluated by a medical professional at the scene to ensure you or others do not show signs of trauma, and to have transportation to an emergency department if you do.
•Conduct Your Own Mini Site Investigation: While you wait for the authorities to arrive on-scene, do your own investigation if it’s safe to do so. Documenting and preserving evidence can help you locate the hit-and-run driver or verify that the other person hit you instead of you hitting him or her. Of course, if you are in too much pain or too uncomfortable in your surroundings, let the police handle everything when they arrive.
•Talk to Bystanders Who May Have Witnessed the Accident: If your accident occurred on a street where people are walking, driving, or looking out of their windows, someone probably saw what happened. If you see strangers hovering around the scene, they might be witnesses. Find out if a bystander saw what happened, and if they can describe the other driver’s car make, model, color or anything else significant. Get their names and phone numbers so you can follow up. If they’re uncomfortable with divulging too much personal information, ask if you can send them a text or an email.
•Photograph the Scene with Your Cell Phone: If you’ve been around an accident scene in recent years, you probably noticed drivers stepping out of their cars, pulling out their cell phones and snapping away. That’s a perfect idea for preserving post-accident evidence.
•Record Your Own Brief Statement: If your phone has an audio recorder talk about the accident, what happened, what you saw, and what you heard. Describe the other vehicle with as many details as you can remember. Consider the same make, model, color questions you asked potential witnesses.
•Get Your Insurance Company Involved: Regardless of what’s happening with the other driver, you must report the claim and allow your insurance company to investigate and make coverage and claim decisions.
Have Your Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you’ve been hit by another driver and/or if you were injured in an accident, investigating the facts and resolving complicated issues on your own can be difficult. Make sure that your legal needs are covered. The attorneys at The Avery Law Firm are ready and willing to represent you in your case today. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Fairfax personal injury attorney, please call us at 703-462-5050 or contact us online today.