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Car tips & advice | 27.05.2014 - 22:56

Not Your Fault? How to Ensure the Other Person Covers the Accident Costs

If you are involved in an accident that wasn't your fault, read on to learn how to gain your fair compensation.

Car accidents can happen at any time. Even the most careful driver can be involved in a serious accident if other people aren’t paying close attention to the road. At the scene of the accident, the other party may be happy to accept responsibility and offer to pay for damage. However, they often change their tune later and will try to deny any responsibility when the full impact of the accident starts to sink in. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that the person responsible covers the cost.


Document Everything


Keep a tablet of paper and a pen in your glove box. After an accident, start making notes immediately regarding weather conditions, how the accident happened and any statements the other driver makes. Record contact information for witnesses, write down license plate numbers for other cars and record any pertinent details. Having the information well-documented can help you make your case in court later.


Photograph the Scene and Request Police Report


You may have a camera on your phone, but you should still keep a disposable camera with your tablet of paper. This way, you can still photograph the scene even if your phone is damaged in the accident. Take pictures of the cars, their position on the road and the damage. Keep this with your documented details to eliminate questions about the accident later. Call the police to get an official report and have the information documented, remembering to request a copy for yourself.


Call Your Insurance Company


Whether you’re at fault for the accident or not, you still need to contact your company. This is good faith accident reporting, and it plays in your favor if the other party decides to refuse responsibility. The insurance company may also be able to provide you with advice regarding information to record or pictures you should take. In some cases, your insurance company may cover your damages and then pursue the other insurance company for payment.


Be Willing to Hire a Lawyer


There are times when the other driver will lie about the accident after the fact to avoid seeing an increase in their rates. Their insurance company will happily take their side to avoid paying you. If you have the time, you can take them to court to fight for reimbursement, but the battle may not be necessary. Sometimes, a letter from an attorney such as those with Gittens & Associates outlining the evidence you collected at the scene can be enough to prompt payout from the other company.


When you’re in an accident, don’t assume that the person at fault will cover your expenses. Even if the other party says that they’re at fault and agrees to pay, don’t assume that they’ll follow through with that. Protect yourself by documenting as much information as possible, and be willing to call in professional assistance if necessary.

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