Often, which driver is at fault for motor vehicle collisions is often obvious. If someone swerves out of their lane or doesn’t stop at an intersection, they are at fault for the collision that results.
However, people don’t like to admit when they have made a mistake, especially if they stand to lose money because of that mistake. Drivers who clearly violated traffic laws may still try to force responsibility for a collision on the other person involved in the wreck.
What can you do to protect yourself from an at-fault driver trying to blame you for a car crash that they caused?
Proactively protect yourself at the crash scene
The best way to keep someone else from blaming you for a wreck is to avoid mistakes that could hurt your case after a crash. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is apologizing to the other driver, an insurance adjuster or a police officer. People often interpret apologies as statements of fault, even if you simply apologize for everything out of habit.
Another mistake people frequently make involves moving their vehicles right away after the crash. Yes, you need to let traffic proceed around your disabled vehicles, but doesn’t have to happen instantly. Taking a moment to get out of your vehicle and document the scene of the crash can protect you later. The photos and videos you take with your cellphone could convince the police, the insurance company or the civil courts about what really happened.
Assert yourself and declare the truth
The other driver may have a reason to want to avoid fault. They may have a history of bad driving that might endanger their license with another citation or carry inadequate insurance. Their issues should not be your concern.
In order to make a claim against their coverage and protect yourself from financial liability, you need the police officers and insurance professionals working on your crash to correctly identify the other driver as the party at fault.
Making clear statements to the police officer about what happened and how the other driver caused the crash is important. So is providing that same, accurate information to any insurance adjuster. There could be evidence to help corroborate your version of events, ranging from traffic cameras in nearby security cameras to statements by witnesses present for the collision. Standing up for yourself can help you fight back when another driver tries to blame you for a car crash that they cause.