How to Dispute Car Accident Fault

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

September 13, 2022

I was Not At-Fault for the Car Accident

There’s a lot of tension to cope with after any car accident, even if it’s a little one. One of the most difficult issues you’ll face is determining culpability.

In certain circumstances, the problem is obvious. For example, if you were stopped at a red light and were rear-ended by a speeding car, it would seem that the driver was at blame!

Occasionally, though, drivers — and their insurance carriers — will engage in a blame game.

You don’t have to give up hope just because your car accident insurance claim has been refused or challenged. Don’t be held responsible for the injure you didn’t create! You should never be held legally responsible for something you did not cause.

A car accident lawyer can help you unravel the knot if you’re being treated unjustly by an insurance company. In the sections below, we’ll address some key questions concerning the blame determination procedure and how to dispute responsibility after a car accident.

Several persons or organizations may assess fault, including insurance companies and their adjusters or a judge and/or jury in a courtroom if the matter is escalated to a personal injury lawsuit.

Most car accident claims follow a similar pattern: when you report an accident, your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company will begin an investigation to establish liability.

HOW DO INSURANCE COMPANIES IDENTIFY WHO IS TO BLAME?

The insurance company will seek to obtain statements from drivers, passengers, and bystanders after an accident is reported. They’ll also examine photos from the accident and dispatch an insurance adjuster to see the damaged cars in person. The insurance company will blame one or more drivers after they feel they know what caused the collision. (Yes, it is possible to share the blame.) (I’ll get to it later.)

THERE MUST BE EVIDENCE TO DETERMINE WHO IS AT FAULT IN A CAR ACCIDENT.

Are you being held responsible for an accident that you didn’t cause? A car accident lawyer can piece together the jigsaw and establish you were not at fault by gathering evidence from numerous sources.

In a car accident case, the evidence needed to establish guilt is often separated into two categories:

Evidence in the Physical World

Following an car accident, physical evidence may include, but is not limited to: strewn-about-at-the-scene-of-the-accident detritus

the extent of the car damage (most notably: the points of impact) the injuries suffered by the victims

photos and video surveillance Testimony of a Witness

The following persons have given statements as witnesses: onlookers who saw the crash

the drivers who were engaged in the collision the cops who were sent to the scene

the physicians who cared for the victims

your lawyer’s expert witnesses, including investigators, accident reconstruction experts, and others

A good car accident injury lawyer understands how to gather the necessary evidence to identify who is at blame. However, insurance adjusters might make errors or just evaluate part of the material during their fault assessment process. So, what are your options?

WHAT IF THE FAULT IS ASSIGNED INCORRECTLY?

Here’s how to contest an insurance company’s wrongdoing in blaming you for a car accident you didn’t cause:

Contact the insurance company right once to contest their conclusions.

Make contact with them over the phone and in writing. A paper record (or email trail!) is essential in situations like this. “Creating a record of dispute” may seem like a terrible thing, but in this situation, it’s beneficial! Maintain your credibility by stating unequivocally that you were not the cause of the accident. Naturally, the exact facts you’re contesting should be included in your letter, as well as documentation demonstrating why the insurance company is incorrect. Keep a copy of this letter, as well as copies of any previous correspondence from the insurance company, for your records.

OBTAIN A COPY OF THE ACCIDENT REPORT FROM THE POLICE.

Insurance adjusters rely significantly on police reports, but what if the report includes errors, such as erroneous or missing information? You may be able to make a change or addition.

You and your car accident lawyer have the legal right to examine the facts and correct any inaccuracies in the accident report. If any data about you, your insurance provider, or the type or model of your car is incorrect, you may simply rectify them by supplying the necessary paperwork. You may write down your version of events if you disagree with other judgments made in the report, such as blame. Before submitting this written statement, always have your car accident lawyer examine it. Your statement may be included as extra information in the report.

YOU MUST APPEAR IN COURT IF YOU HAVE GOTTEN A TICKET OR CITATION.

You and your lawyer might also try to talk with the investigating police before your court date. Fighting a traffic ticket isn’t always a smart idea, but you don’t want it on your record if an officer made a mistake! In return for completing a defensive driving course, you may be eligible to have your ticket or penalty removed.

You may also file an appeal if you disagree with a fault decision. A third-party mediator will usually be called in to hear your side of the tale. Don’t allow your emotions to get the better of you; simply give them the facts. During this period, a car accident lawyer might be quite helpful. (Keep in mind that you have the right to legal assistance while contesting a ticket.)

If you are still greeted with opposition, you might take the case to a civil action against the insurance company as a final option. If you think your car accident claim may end up in court, you’ll want a lawyer on your side for this phase! When a jury decides who is to blame in a car accident lawsuit, your lawyer will present the same evidence that we discussed before.

You and your lawyer aren’t the only ones looking at a claim when challenging it. The opposite side and their staff will almost certainly undertake a thorough dig as well. If you are requested to provide an insurance company with a recorded statement, always contact your lawyer first.

Although the specifics of each case may vary, a car accident injury lawyer can assist you in determining how to challenge an erroneous blame judgment.

IS IT STILL POSSIBLE FOR AT-FAULT DRIVERS TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION?

Yes, to answer the question briefly. In car accidents, things aren’t always black and white, and “I’m right, you’re wrong.” In many car accidents, both drivers are somewhat to blame for the collision. For example, one of them may have been driving too fast while the other was engrossed in their phone.

The entire blame game is rather immaterial in places that have no-fault car insurance. Why? Because, regardless of who caused the collision, wounded car accident victims are expected to get reimbursement from their insurance provider. If their injury damages surpass a specific level, they may file a responsibility claim against the other motorist. (Car damage claims are dealt with separately, and the fault may still be involved.)

On the other hand, Colorado is a comparative fault state that adheres to the 51 percent bar rule. This implies that you may be eligible for Compensation under Colorado car accident law even if you were partly to blame for the accident!

You compare who is more at fault in a comparative fault condition. If a motorist is proven to be the primary cause of an accident, he or she must accept financial responsibility. To protect against situations like this, all Colorado drivers must have liability insurance. However, many people’s faults lead to an car accident in many circumstances. It all depends on how much you contributed to the accident. An car accident lawyer can assist you with the details, but here’s a basic rundown:

If you are injured in an car accident in Colorado and are judged to be less than 51 percent at fault, you may be able to recover money from the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Your ultimate car accident insurance claim compensation may, however, be lowered due to your level of culpability. The evidence we presented before is used to calculate these defect percentages.

The lesser your ultimate reward, the bigger your proportion of the blame. You will get nothing if you are more than 51% at blame in Colorado. However, if you are 50% at blame, your ultimate Compensation will be cut in half. Does it make sense? Here’s an illustration of how arithmetic works: if you were found to be 20% at fault in a car accident with another motorist and sustained $50,000 in damages, you and your lawyer may still seek $40,000 in damages.

Unfortunately, Colorado’s at-fault accident regulations indicate that if a victim is judged to be 51 percent or more at fault, they cannot receive any damages. Your auto insurance premiums may rise if you are determined to be entirely or partly at fault in an car accident.

AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

As soon as an accident occurs, the process of establishing blame starts. Follow these procedures for the greatest outcomes in your car accident and injury claim if you are safely able to do so:

TAKE PICTURES

Photograph the damaged cars, as well as the surrounding surroundings and signs. (Do not force yourself to complete this or any other stage if you are injured.) While you’re waiting for medical help, ask a passerby.)

SHARE INFORMATION

Take your phone images of the other driver’s license, insurance details, and license plates. Obtain contact information from any witnesses who may have been there at the time of the accident.

CONTACT THE AUTHORITIES

Report the accident to the police. This step is critical because at-fault drivers often do not want to engage the police. Don’t let them convince you otherwise: a police accident report may be invaluable evidence.

Have any injuries checked out. Getting medical help as soon as possible avoids an insurance company from claiming you “weren’t wounded.”

SPEAK WITH A LAWYER

If you are being held responsible for an car accident you did not cause, you need someone to speak up for your rights and defend you. A car accident lawyer can assist you in carefully planning your steps and increasing your chances of achieving a favorable settlement. Having a lawyer on your side will help demonstrate to the insurance providers that you are serious about your company and will not be exploited. It may be time to hire a lawyer if you don’t want to be rejected, ignored, or caught in a game of phone tag with shady insurance firms.

CLAIM FOR AN ACCIDENT

To report the collision and begin the accident injury claim procedure, call your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. Your lawyer can assist you in completing this procedure effectively.

DO NOT APOLOGIZE OR CONFESS TO ANYTHING AT ANY POINT THROUGHOUT THESE PROCEDURES.

You don’t want to accept credit for something you didn’t do by accident. Do not accept or offer money from the other motorist.

AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT, WHY DO YOU NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER?

It might seem like the deck is stacked against you when drivers, insurance adjusters, and even police dispute your account of events. Why should you have to battle the insurance companies alone when they have expert investigators and adjusters on their side? An car accident lawyer can assist you by:

gathering evidence

resolving disagreements over faults adhering to strict timeframes

They may also play an important role in the subsequent settlement discussions. While you concentrate on your recovery, a car accident lawyer can help enhance your case in various ways. You risk missing out on key evidence or being taken advantage of if you attempt to develop your case entirely independently.

Regrettably, insurance firms are mainly concerned with protecting their profits.

Allow us to assist you if you are being held responsible for an car accident that you did not cause. A solution might be on the horizon.

It’s a frequent misperception that attorneys are costly, but an car accident injury cases, you may wind up with more money than if you hadn’t employed one. Furthermore, personal injury attorneys practice on a contingency basis. This means you don’t have to pay them anything up in advance! They are paid a percentage of the ultimate settlement award as their fee.

We understand that every car accident is unique, as is every case that follows. If you work with a car accident lawyer from our firm, we’ll work with you to develop a unique plan for success. Our professionals have over 20 years of expertise and are eager to help you.

Right now, you may get a free consultation!

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