What Should You Do if You’re Wrongly Blamed for a Crash?
Wisconsin’s comparative negligence law allows you to collect damages from a car crash as long as you are not the majority at fault for the crash. However, you may find yourself in an accident that is not your fault but that the other driver still tries to blame on you.
If this happens, move quickly with the help of a Green Bay car crash attorney to determine your level of responsibility and seek the damages to which you’re entitled.
These steps can help you establish that you are not liable for the accident. Taking these measures after a collision, if you are able to do so, can impact the outcome of your claim.
1. Gather evidence from your accident.
Collecting specific pieces of time-sensitive evidence can preserve the facts of the accident for your lawyer. Photographs and videos of the vehicles at the scene can help your lawyer determine any wrongdoing by others.
Photos depicting the weather conditions, debris from the cars, skid marks, and traffic signals help detail the circumstances of the accident.
Get the names of any witnesses who might support your claim. A third-party witness can talk about what happened before and after an accident and point out details you might have missed.
2. Never admit fault after a car accident.
You should contact 911 immediately after the crash. This summons the police to file an accident report and brings emergency medical services to provide medical attention if it’s needed. When the police interview you for the report, you should avoid making remarks suggesting that your actions caused the crash. If you admit fault, you may be held responsible for the other driver’s losses.
3. Don’t speak to an insurance adjuster without a lawyer.
An insurance adjuster might contact you after an accident to ask for a statement. Prematurely giving a statement before knowing the exact cause of the accident may hurt your chances for compensation.
The insurance company may use your statement against you in court to lessen the amount of their payout or to establish that you caused the accident. Don’t talk to the insurance company until you work with a car accident lawyer who can negotiate on your behalf.
A car accident lawyer’s first step is to investigate how the accident occurred. Your lawyer must determine the factors that caused the accident and who is liable. One party may be at fault for an accident, or several parties may share liability.
During an accident investigation, your lawyer gathers evidence to determine liability. Your attorney can take the following steps to get evidence to support your claim:
- Ask for your videos and pictures from the accident and footage from your dash camera (if you have one)
- Obtain copies of the police accident report and study them
- Look for surveillance footage of the accident from nearby businesses and traffic cameras
- Find eyewitnesses and record their testimonies
- Ask each person involved in the accident to tell their version of events
- Check the weather forecast for the accident’s time and date
- Look for any dangerous road hazards, including potholes and cracks that may have caused the car accident
- Collect physical evidence from the cars and accident scene
Your attorney can then determine your percentage of fault in the accident based on the evidence.
The accident investigation may determine you are partially liable for the collision. Even if you are partially liable, as long as you can prove you are less than 51% at fault, you can still collect compensation.
However, if this is the case, you may only receive partial compensation for your auto accident injuries. According to Wisconsin’s modified comparative fault laws, your percentage of liability in an accident is proportional to your compensation. For example, if you were 40% at fault for the accident and your damages total $100,000, you may be entitled to only $60,000, because your compensation is reduced by 40%.
An experienced lawyer can help to reduce your percentage of liability so you get the full compensation you are owed.
Our auto accident attorneys at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers have the knowledge and skills to investigate your accident thoroughly. Contact us today to book a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.