Auto accidents are frantic and often terrifying. Hopefully you’re not all too familiar with just how bad they can be! Aside from the danger and anarchy of the crash itself, almost all auto accidents are immediately followed by a confused and hectic situation. Drivers will frequently disagree on what exactly happened, trying to paint themselves in the best light possible. While this is understandable, I certainly can’t condone it! Here’s some helpful information for dealing with liars involved in a car accident.
One of the worst things that can happen if the other party lies about the car accident is that these falsehoods actually get factored into the police report, and treated as airtight evidence. When the facts have been intentionally misrepresented by one of the parties involved, it’s treated as fraud. However, if the negligent party is lying about the events that took place, it can be very hard to prove. If the other driver has suffered any kind of head injury, they can always claim that they were confused in the immediate aftermath, and don’t know what they said. Your average prosecuting car accident lawyer will generally be very reluctant to pursue any fraud charges unless you can come up with reasonable proof that there have been false claims included in the police report.
If you suspect that the other party is trying to get away with car accident fraud, then I’ve got some bad news for you. When this occurs in minor accident cases, it barely ever gets addressed. Even when the fraud can be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the end result is usually a small misdemeanor conviction. The party at fault is usually determined by preponderance in the evidence. Some evidence, such as not having adequate control of a vehicle, is treated as a “heavy” factor in preponderance, and in many cases is what the whole outcome hinges on. Contributory negligence can be another major factor, depending on the state. To some degree, this can be an obstacle in fraudulent claims. Having said that, major insurance or personal injury fraud due to false statements made to police can earn people felony charges that have slapped some people with jail sentences of up to five years!
So, what should you do if you feel you have to pursue a lying party in your car accident? One of the biggest obstacles in your way is going to be the different standards in civil and criminal courts. Still, the evidence of the civil judgment can be handed over to a prosecuting lawyer, and presented to a grand jury if the liar in question is looking at felony charges. Whether or not a situation constitutes a felony is generally determined by the amount of money that’s being fraudulently obtained or claimed. If someone purposefully lies to the police officer who comes to the scene of the accident, and the officer uncovers that misinformation, then it may be chargeable. Lying to a police officer is akin to lying to a judge or lawyer. However, it needs to be backed by evidence if you want it to be pursued!