If you've been in a car accident in Nova Scotia, it is critical that you document what happens at the accident scene. It is the only way to prevent lies from being used against you later should a dispute arise about who was at fault for the accident. Why would someone resort to lying about a car accident? Some at-fault drivers realize sometime after the crash that lying may be the way to escape paying a deductible to an increase in their car insurance premiums.
Determining fault is so crucial because it is the cornerstone of a car accident injury claim.
In Nova Scotia, it is critical that the injured party prove that another party was negligent for the accident. If the at-fault driver is negligent, it means that you have a claim against them for injuries that you may have sustained due to the car accident. Of course, it is the at-fault car insurance company that will pay the claim, not the driver personally so long as insurance was in place at the time of the accident.
If the driver who caused the crash is lying about the accident, you must ensure that you have evidence to show that they were indeed at fault. You will have great trouble obtaining compensation for your injuries if you do not have proof because the at-fault party's insurer will not compensate you if you cannot demonstrate why they are obligated to do so.
How do you go about the evidence and prove that the driver is lying? There are four key steps that you can do to protect yourself in the event that the other driver is lying or changes their story later when they report to their insurance company.
1. Be calm and don't argue.
There's no reason to argue with the other driver at the accident scene. Just document what occurred, take photographs and write down facts. You can use your camera phone to take photos of the vehicle position and the vehicle damage. You should calmly ask the other driver for a copy of their license and insurance particulars so you can start an insurance claim.
2. Call the police and request medical assistance, if needed.
You should never hesitate to call 911 or to request an ambulance if you need it. Do not be dissuaded from calling emergency services because the other driver suggests that the accident is minor or that you don't need help. Leave it to the professionals, the police and the paramedics, to do their job and assess the scene of the accident.
Both the police and the ambulance will generate reports which will become important evidence later, especially if liability becomes contested during the claim process.
3. Take photos of the accident scene and speak to witnesses.
Photos are worth a thousand words. Photos are indisputable evidence for many car accident cases because it clearly shows who is at fault.
A photo of a smashed front bumper into the rear of a car indicates a rear-end accident. If you are in the vehicle that was rear-ended, that photo should be enough to assure that you will be able to obtain compensated for the accident injuries.
If the at-fault party's insurer continues to deny your claim despite seeing photo evidence, a personal injury lawyer will be able to obtain forensic evidence to demonstrate why you are entitled to compensation.
Witness information is another excellent source of evidence. Witnesses are third parties with no vested interest in the claim. They don't have skin in the game, so they don't have any reason to lie. You will need the name, phone number or other contact information from that witness and a clear description of what they saw. A signed statement from the witness is even better.
If you're hurt, try to have someone else at the scene speak to witnesses on your behalf.
4. Stay true to your story about the accident.
You will be speaking to the police, paramedics, doctors, treatment professionals and insurance companies about your accident. Make sure your story is factually accurate and stick only to what you know. You must remain consistent when you're speaking about your story because inconsistencies will be deemed to be lies by the at-fault party's insurer.
The insurance company will assess the truthfulness of their customer and the injury victim claiming compensation. The accuracy of various statements made both immediately after the accident and in the weeks and months to come will be critical, especially if it's a battle about truth and who is to be believed. Personal injury lawyers often find their role to be much more challenging if their client has given multiple statements in the past where some inconsistencies exist.
NOVA Injury Law often encounters situations where clients struggle to establish fault for the accident. Most of these clients are shocked that there is any debate about liability because the crash was straight forward (e.g. rear-end accident, drove through a red light, etc.). It is not uncommon that an at-fault driver will change their story when they realize that their premiums will increase or that they'll have to deal with their insurance company.
Don't be dissuaded from bringing a claim because there may be an issue about liability. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you about your rights and options after a car accident even if the other party is lying about who's at fault for the crash.
NOVA Injury Law offers free consultations for car accident cases. Jeff Mitchell will be pleased to meet with you, learn about your situation and offer honest and straight-forward information so that you can have a better idea about where you stand and what your legal options you can pursue.
Knowledge is power and, after an accident, you should have the confidence knowing where you stand and what you can do to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries.
Need help handling your car accident claim?
Jeff Mitchell is an experienced personal injury lawyer dedicated to representing car accident victims. With free consultation and no win, no legal fee agreements, there is no downside to speaking with us about your claim! Call us today: 902.442.8853