We receive many calls every day from injured parties who were involved in car accidents. They want their personal injuries to be compensated for as well as their property damages. The other driver even admitted fault to the accident! It seems like this should be a simple case. However, there is a common mistake that occurs right after an accident can make it much harder to receive compensation.
In cases like these, when we ask if there is a police report the injured party often says there isn’t one. When we ask why there is no police report, the injured party says the other person admitted fault, so they did not want to call the police and get the other driver in trouble. Even when the other driver is obviously intoxicated some of these injured parties will refrain from calling the police.
Our next question to the injured party is to ask if they have spoken to the negligent party’s insurance company and set up an insurance claim. The injured party says they have spoken to the negligent party’s insurance company, but they are not agreeing to pay. It turns out that the at-fault party has changed their story and are not admitting fault to their insurance company.
The insurance company is denying the claim and will not pay anything on it. The injured caller has no evidence to disprove the at fault driver’s lie to his insurance company, and thus the injured party’s chances of recovery from the traffic accident are not very good.
The moral of the story is that any time you have an accident, and the other person admits fault, you have to secure evidence of that admission at the scene. Insist on calling the police to get a record of the accident and an admission of fault by the other driver to the police officer. This statement can later be used to impeach a lying at fault driver.
If the other driver is intoxicated but the police are never called, there will be no way to prove the intoxication in the future, and a great deal of value in the case will be lost.
If the other party does not want to wait on the police, have them write in their own handwriting that they admit fault in the accident, and have them detail out in writing why they are at fault and what happened. This can also be used later to impeach an at fault driver.
An admission of fault only to you at the scene of an accident is not enough to ensure a successful claim. If you have been injured in an accident with a driver admitting fault, make sure you memorialize the admission.
Also, always remember to get the name and contact information of any witnesses as their statements can be used against the other party should they choose to lie. Take pictures of the position of the vehicles immediately after an accident. Said pictures sometimes can also be used to impeach a lying at-fault driver’s statement.
If you have been involved in an injury accident in Harris County, contact our Houston car accident attorneys right away. They will make sure you are aware of all the things you need to do to protect your rights and obtain the monies to which you are entitled.