This Georgia legal guide has been written by our injury law firm to help you know what to do when negligent at-fault drivers are dishonest about the cause of your car or truck accident.
- Some drivers may be apologetic and admit fault at the scene of an accident, but later lie about the accident to you, your lawyer or the insurance company.
- Other dishonest at-fault drivers may immediately try to leave the scene or falsely blame you for an accident you did not cause.
- Do not let an at-fault driver leave the scene without calling the police and having a report made – especially if you have been injured.
- Documenting the accident scene with cell phone pictures and video and gather police reports, 911 audio recordings, police body and patrol car cams and eyewitness accounts can help prove your case.
- In Georgia, voluntary payment of a traffic ticket can often be used as evidence that a driver admitted to the moving violation that caused your accident.
Being injured in a car accident in the Atlanta, Georgia, area can be distressing enough. But when the other driver admitted fault to you or the police officer at the scene, and that driver is now lying about what happened, it can be frustrating and could end up costing you a lot of money.
Reasons Why an At-Fault Driver Would Lie
Why would an at-fault driver lie about what caused a car accident? In short, negligent drivers often do not want to be held responsible for a crash that resulted from distracted driving, drowsy driving, or another reckless behavior. Examples of negligent behavior include but are not limited to:
- Texting while driving
- Talking on a cellphone while driving
- Surfing the internet while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving without getting enough sleep (especially truck drivers)
- Running a red light
Other reasons a driver might admit to causing a wreck at the scene, but later begin blaming you or others can be fear that his or her insurance rates may increase, or that the insurance company may even drop them as a customer. Such fears can be a powerful motivation to some people to lie about their own negligence.
When The At-Fault Driver Tries to Talk You Out if Calling The Police
Often an at-fault driver will try to talk you out of calling the police after an accident. Do not fall for this, as you are providing a golden opportunity for a dishonest driver to later lie about what happened and you might even be breaking the law.
Gathering evidence after a crash is one of the most important steps to take after ensuring that you and other passengers are safe.
Taking the following steps to collect information can help you to prove that the other driver was at fault in your car accident claim:
- Contact the police and ensure you have an official accident report.
- The Georgia Department of Driver Services requires you to notify the police if you are involved in a collision that results in one of the following: personal injury, death, or damage to property in excess of $500.
- It is possible that the law enforcement officer who arrives at the scene will ticket the other driver if it is clear that a traffic violation resulted in the crash.
- If the at-fault driver is ticketed and later voluntarily pays the citation, this can often be used as an admission of fault – or at least an admission that the driver was committing a moving violation at the time of the crash.
- Be sure to write down witnesses’ names and contact information so you or a lawyer can contact them and get a written statement after the wreck.
- Take as many photos as possible at the scene of the accident, including damage to your own vehicle, damage to the other driver’s car, and any evidence along the highway (such as skid marks).
How Photographs of the Accident Scene Can Tell Your Story
Immediately after a car accident occurs, if it is safe to do so, you may want to take cell phone pictures and video of the accident scene to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault. Photographs of damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle, as well as skid marks and other evidence on the road, can go a long way in proving that the other driver was negligent. In fact, crash reconstruction experts can use photos of the damaged vehicles and skid marks to reconstruct the scene of a collision.
Using Official Video and 911 Audio Recordings to Prove Your Georgia Accident Case
In most cases the investigating law enforcement officer will be creating a body camera or patrol car camera recording while investigating your accident. These recordings can be requested. Many people will admit to the police officer to having been the cause of an accident.
You may also want to request 911 audio recordings of the 15 (or more) minutes before and after the collision to see if any eyewitnesses called 911 to report what happened. A surprising number of people will describe to the 911 operator “how” the wreck happened. This can be critical in proving that another driver has lied or changed their story.
This information is available using the Georgia Open Records Act.
People who are found at-fault for an accident can face a number of penalties for their negligence, including higher insurance rates, criminal charges, a court judgment, or other financial consequences. It is not unusual for an at-fault driver to try to avoid those consequences.
If you are involved in any accident, it is wise to call the police to report the it immediately. Get the names and contact information of eyewitnesses who observed the accident. You should also take photos of the scene, including skid marks and any damage to document the accident as thoroughly as possible. This evidence can help support your story if you must fight for compensation for your losses.
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