What to do if you’re found to be at fault for an accident by the police and you’re innocent
The police try to do the best job they can, but the reality is that innocent drivers are sometimes found to be at fault by law enforcement after an accident. Police forces only have so much time to dedicate to each case, and car accidents simply aren’t as pressing as homicides and other crimes.
If you’re not able to talk to the police after an accident and they only get one side of the story, you might find yourself declared at fault even if you did nothing wrong and spoke to the police as soon as you could. If you are at the accident scene and talk to them, you might still come out on the losing side even if you’re not the person who was responsible for what happened.
Fortunately, you can still take your case to court to get the compensation you deserve for the accident, even after the police have decided you were at fault. For example, the Denver Post covered a story about the death of 25-year-old Abdul Alhilo, who was killed when his motorcycle slammed into the side of a Jeep.
The police found Alhilo at fault, but jurors in the case believed otherwise, awarding the young man’s family a $2.5 million judgment against the Jeep driver. According to Fox 31 Denver, jurors awarded a bicyclist hit by a county dump truck $350,000, despite local police finding the bicyclist at fault.
If you’ve been found to be at fault for an accident that you didn’t cause, your first step is to collect as much evidence as you can for your case. Get photos of your car and the other vehicles involved if possible. Put together a witness list.
If you weren’t able to get the names and contact information of witnesses, get a copy of the police report, which should identify any witnesses. Document any losses from the accident, such as work hours missed, medical bills, and the cost of the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
Don’t speak to anyone else involved about how the accident happened or who was at fault, including the other drivers or an insurance company. Give the minimal information required to your insurer; it’s important to remember that your insurer is not your friend.
Their goal is to limit your compensation and settle the matter as quickly as possible, whether it’s to your benefit or not. Keep any apologies to yourself, even if you feel compelled to do so out of manners or conscience. An apology can be constructed as an admission of fault by the receiving party.
Have you been found at fault by the police for an accident you didn’t cause? Contact Zaner Harden Law today for a confidential consultation by calling 303-563-5354.
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