How to deal with a dispute over an automobile collision.
If you have an older sibling, you likely remember many times when your older sibling would do something and then turn around and blame you for it. This can be one of the most annoying and frustrating situations because you know that it was not your fault, but there is nothing you can do to fight it.
Most of us thought that once we were adults, this situation would no longer happen. While it certainly may not happen as often as before, the situation and consequences of when it does happen are often much worse than going to timeout or losing dessert at night.
There is one situation that happens far too often, and that’s being accused of causing a car accident.
Car Accidents May Have Three Stories
An attorney once told me, “There are three sides to any lawsuit, the prosecutor, the defense, and the truth.” Essentially, what he meant was that in life, oftentimes the truth of what actually happens is somewhere in between the two sides of the story. It’s even possible for this to be true with one or both sides believing they are telling the truth.
For example, if at a four way stop, it’s possible that both cars arrive at the same time but perceive to be there first. Both sides will say they arrived first, giving them the go-ahead, and both will think they are telling the truth.
Without any evidence, this kind of case may come down to who has the more convincing story or which car appears to have certain kinds of collision damage (defensive vs offensive driving).
Working With the Insurance
Following an accident, drivers have to deal with the insurance agencies. If the crash was deemed your fault, your insurance will have to cut a check, and your monthly premiums will go up significantly. If someone feels they were unjustly at fault for an accident, a dispute can be filed.
These can be difficult to deal with and getting an attorney’s help may be the best option. Attorneys are professionals who know how to fight a dispute, work with insurance agencies, and let you know if the best deal is being made.
However, an attorney is only able to do so much, especially if fighting a dispute, which is why you need to do your part as well.
Gathering evidence is going to be the best way to fight unjust blame. This evidence can be used by your auto accident lawyer to build a strong case in your favor. Evidence can come in a wide range of forms and options, but here are few good places to start:
- Dashboard Camera – These are very similar to what the police have on the front of their cars. The camera will take video and serve as evidence of anything that goes on in its view.
- Photographs – Taking photos at the scene of the crash is also very important for many reasons – the most important being the damage will be limited to what the pictures show. For example, if someone tries to claim scratches as being part of the accident, but the photos show no scratches, you won’t have cover that, and it makes your dispute claim look stronger. It’s also wise to have current pictures of the vehicle to compare to the ones with damage.
- Policy – Knowing a policy and how it works will help in a scenario where the insurance may try to take advantage of a situation. What it will also do is allow you to understand what they are saying, in case things go another way later.
Getting blamed for a car accident isn’t fun, and a dispute can be a long process, but having patience is key. Many times, an insurance agency will agree on a settlement and not disregard your story. Insurances are businesses and need to make money, meaning your premium may go up. However, at the same time, reviews and customer relations are important as well.
Odds are, to achieve both, there very well could be room to compromise.
About the Author: Other Voices
Other Voices has written 799 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
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