What if the At-Fault Driver and the Victim Have Different Versions of What Happened?

drivers after a crashWhen car crash victims file claims against other drivers’ liability insurance policies, they must prove the other driver is at fault for the crash. There are various types of evidence that may be used to establish fault, including statements made by the victim and the at-fault driver. The trouble is that the victim and the other driver may have different versions of what happened.

There are times when accounts of the crash differ because someone is lying, such as the driver who caused your crash. However, there are also times when the at-fault driver is not lying but his or her account of the crash is simply different from yours. Perhaps the other driver had a different view of the crash and there were things he or she could not and did not see.

At times like these, you need an experienced attorney to help you build a strong case. TSR Injury Law’s Minneapolis auto accident lawyers know how to gather evidence to prove a case. We have been helping crash victims since 1998 and we have secured millions on their behalf.

Why Your Account of the Crash May Differ From the Other Driver’s

There are many reasons why your recollection may differ from the other driver. If the other driver is at fault, his or her negligence may have prevented him or her from noticing the same things you did.

For example, if the other driver was drunk or distracted, he or she would not have been fully aware of what was happening. He or she may not have realized there was a red light or stop sign. The other driver may claim you came out of nowhere, even though you had the right of way. The other driver is not necessarily lying, he or she was just not paying attention.

In a multi-car crash, it is difficult for any driver to have a complete picture of what happened. You may remember what happened in the first couple of seconds, but there may be a lot you do not know. When there are multiple impacts, victims are going to focus on their own safety, not what is happening outside their car.

Sometimes drivers do not know the right-of-way laws that govern the situation in which your crash occurred. This can lead them to make statements that are untrue.

For example, many drivers have no idea who has the right of way when there is a flashing red light. Often, one driver will decide to go, and several others will follow. Even though this group of cars is in the intersection, cars from another part of the intersection may move into the intersection. Many of these drivers may not think they are doing anything wrong. If a crash occurs, the drivers involved may have varying accounts of what occurred.

Sometimes drivers’ view gets obstructed by inclement weather or glare from the sun or another car’s headlights. This can prevent a driver from seeing what happened in the moments leading up to a crash.

Telling Your Side of the Story

You may overhear what the other driver tells police when you are at the scene of the crash. You might also get into a conversation with the other driver immediately after the crash, such as when you are exchanging information.

While you may hear things you know to be untrue or statements that leave out important details, there is no need to confront the other driver about it.

Talking to the Police and an Attorney

The most important thing is to tell the police what your version of events were and if there are witnesses make sure their story is also known. Your attorney can later investigate the crash to gather more evidence such as video, audio or unknown witnesses to prove what happened. If the other driver was negligent, a thorough investigation is likely going to uncover evidence that proves it.

If you think the police report has an error, your attorney may be able to help you get it corrected. Your lawyer may be able to just call the police department and quickly get the situation resolved.

If you have an experienced attorney on your side, the other driver is much less likely to get away with lies or misstatements about the crash. Explain what you remember to the police and your attorney and avoid discussing things you are unsure of. If you do not know something, avoid discussing it with the police. You can talk to your attorney about it because these conversations are confidential.

Taking Notes on the Crash

It can be helpful to take a few minutes to write down what you remember about the crash. For example, you could do this after you receive treatment, or even at the scene, depending on the severity of your injuries. Another option is to record a video in which you talk about what happened. When you talk to an attorney, tell him or her what you remember. Make sure not to leave anything out.

Staying Consistent

Consistency in your statements is important because it helps protect your credibility. That is why talking to the insurance company is a bad idea. Conversations with your attorney are protected by attorney-client privilege. However, anything you say to the insurance company will be used against you to diminish the value of your claim. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to make inconsistent statements to the insurance company.

You do not need to say much at all to the insurance company – attorneys can talk to insurers on your behalf. They can ensure statements about what happened in the crash are consistent. Insurance companies are not going to try to trick attorneys into saying things that call a crash victim’s credibility into question. Experienced attorneys, like those at TSR Injury Law know what insurance companies are up to.

Evidence to Back Up Your Claim

If the other driver is lying or has a different version of events, you will need more evidence to prove your case. Fortunately, there are various types of evidence that may help you build a strong case:

  • Analysis of the damage to both vehicles
  • Your injuries and their severity
  • Police report, which may include the officer’s conclusion about fault for the crash
  • Pictures from the scene
  • Video footage if any is available
  • Conclusions from an accident reconstruction expert
  • Statements from witnesses at the scene
  • Black box data from involved vehicles
  • And more

You can find an experienced attorney to represent you. One who knows how to investigate car crashes to decipher what happened. Even though some crashes seem obvious what happened, the insurance company is going to fight hard to find a reason to deny a claim. That is why you need an attorney who knows how to fight for you.

Contact Our Firm For Help Following a Crash

While compensation from an insurance claim cannot erase what happened, it is still important. Compensation allows victims to get medical treatment and cover other damages that resulted from their injuries.

However, you need full compensation. You do not want the insurance company’s first offer, which is often far below the full value of a claim.

That is why you need an attorney from a firm with a proven record, like TSR Injury Law. We have obtained compensation from many insurance companies. We know how to build a strong case and negotiate for maximum compensation.

No upfront fees for our services. Call us today: (612) TSR-TIME.

What if Your Car Crash Claim Exceeds the Value of Your Car Insurance Policy?

car insurance block letters on notepadWhile some car crash injuries may heal in a few weeks or months and leave victims with no long-term damage, others can affect victims for years or the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, the financial value of damages from these injuries could far exceed the value of the victim’s auto insurance policy.

If this happens to you, are you stuck paying these additional costs out of your own pocket? Are there other options for recovering additional compensation?

Our experienced Bloomington-based vehicle crash lawyers discuss this issue in detail below. There may be a variety of options for securing compensation above policy limits.

At TSR Injury Law, we have helped many car crash victims secure compensation to cover the full cost of their damages. We offer victims a free initial consultation and if you decide to hire our firm, there are no upfront fees. Our attorneys are not paid for providing legal services unless our clients receive compensation.

Securing Compensation After a Minnesota Car Crash

Minnesota requires all drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This is no-fault coverage, which means drivers can use it even if they are at fault for the crash. Typically, crash victims file a claim for PIP benefits before other types of claims.

PIP provides compensation for medical care you need following the crash. This may include the cost of:

  • Surgeries
  • Medications
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stays in the hospital
  • Transportation in an ambulance
  • Medical equipment
  • Medical tests
  • Appointments with doctors
  • Mileage to and from treatments
  • Chiropractic appointments

Basic mandatory PIP medical coverage is $20,000.00. You can buy more or “stack” benefits if you own multiple cars. PIP also provides compensation for lost wages and the cost of hiring someone to perform household services, like housekeeping. Wage and replacement service coverage is in addition to medical coverage. Basic PIP also provides $20,000.00 for these services.

Options if Your Damages Exceed PIP Insurance Limits

Minnesota requires drivers to buy a minimum amount of liability insurance in case they cause a crash that results in damages. The minimum required coverage is:

  • $30,000 per person for bodily injuries
  • $60,000 per crash if two or more people get injured
  • $10,000 for property damage

However, it is important to remember a liability insurance claim is not a no-fault claim. Therefore, your lawyer must prove the other driver is liable for your damages and certain thresholds must be met before a person can receive compensation for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver’s insurance (above and beyond the no-fault PIP coverages).

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to step outside of the no-fault system and make a pain and suffering claim against the at-fault driver. For example, if you have more than $4,000 in medical bills or suffered one of the following types of injuries:

  • Permanent injury
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Injury that causes you to miss 60 days of work
  • Fatal injury

What if the Other Driver is Uninsured or Underinsured?

In this situation, you may file a claim against your own policy for underinsured or uninsured coverages. These are mandatory coverages for at least $25,000 per person $50,000.00 per crash.

An underinsured motorist coverage claim is meant to pay for damages that exceed the value of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.

More Options if Your Damages Exceed Policy Limits

Another option is the at-fault driver’s umbrella insurance. Some policies provide umbrella insurance in case their insured causes a serious crash, as their car insurance coverage may run out before it covers the victim’s damages.

Drivers buy umbrella insurance to protect their assets, because when their auto insurance coverage runs out, victims and their attorneys may come after the at-fault driver’s assets.

Sometimes car crashes involve more than two vehicles. In these situations, you may have a claim against both driver’s liability insurance, with each paying for their percentage of fault.

There may also be a third party besides another driver that bears some responsibility for your damages, such as a government entity responsible for maintaining a roadway. However, you would need to establish that entity’s fault for the crash and your damages, which may be a challenge. That is why it is vital to hire an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of the law.

Need Legal Assistance Following a Crash? Call TSR Today

For decades, our licensed attorneys have been assisting those injured in accidents, including motor vehicle crashes. We know how difficult the aftermath of these situations can be and how important it is for victims to secure compensation for things like medical treatment and lost wages.

If you or a loved one were injured by another’s negligence, our attorneys may be able to assist you. We are ready to discuss what happened in a free consultation to explain how we may be able to help during this difficult time.

TSR Injury Law. No Upfront Fees. No Financial Risks. (612) TSR-TIME