If there aren’t witnesses to your accident, it could create challenges with proving fault. But that doesn’t mean you should just count it a loss and take the blame. There are other ways to establish liability. First, below is an overview of what you should and should not do after you get in an accident, whether there are witnesses or not.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Do after a Car Accident
It might be one person’s word against another if there are no witnesses. But the way you handle things from the start could make a significant difference. Regardless if there are witnesses, you should always get as much information from the other driver as possible.
Gather information at the scene of the accident like:
- driver’s name, address and phone number;
- name of auto insurance company and policy number;
- color, make and model of car; and
- license plate and driver’s license numbers.
Contact the police, especially if there is significant property damage and injuries. It’s possible law enforcement will pick up on something that demonstrates fault. And of course, seek medical attention if injured, either at the scene, in an emergency room or with your own doctor as soon as possible.
Don’t admit fault or even apologize, as this can come across as accepting responsibility. In fact, it’s best to say as little as possible. Be cooperative with the police but stick to the basic facts of which you’re sure.
Gather Other Evidence That Could Prove Fault in the Car Accident
Witnesses are definitely helpful to an accident case. But there are other important sources of information that can establish liability. If the crash caused severe or fatal injuries it might make sense to hire an accident reconstruction expert. Using a scientific approach, an in-depth analysis could identify contributing factors and causation.
Photographs from the accident scene can be invaluable they may illustrate damage patterns that show fault using:
- skid marks;
- debris; and
- photos of the vehicles themselves.
If it occurred at an intersection with red-light cameras, it might have caught the collision on camera. Get a copy of the police report. If the other driver received a traffic citation, it may help establish fault.
Importance of Legal Counsel When There Is a Dispute Surrounding Fault
Not having witnesses can make an accident case more complicated. Even with other types of proof, it’s best to seek help from an attorney. This is especially true if the accident was serious and you are facing significant medical bills and a lot of missed time from work.
One of the issues is when both drivers are at fault. Colorado’s negligence laws can reduce the amount of damages recoverable. It could also prevent an injured person from receiving anything if he or she is 50 percent at fault or more. You must therefore establish you were less than 50 percent at fault, and preferably lower your fault as much as possible.
Get help in Denver from attorney D.J. Banovitz. Call 303-300-5060 or use our online contact form to set up a consultation.