Does it matter if the at-fault driver lies about your crash and how it happened? In a no-fault state, like Michigan, both sides can recover medical costs and other damages no matter who caused the crash. However, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage may not always be enough, especially after a severe crash. Additionally, being in a no-fault state does not release the negligent party from his or her liability.
If the at-fault driver lies about the crash, you may have some concerns about what this means to your claim. What can you do to help ensure the full recovery of your damages?
At Jay Trucks, we have handled many cases involving drivers who tried to avoid liability for a crash they caused. Our experienced auto accident lawyers in Clare know how to dispute the account of at-fault drivers who lie about a crash. Find out if you have a valid case. At our firm you are not just a number, and we are ready to fight for full compensation.
Set up your FREE case review today. 866-244-0440
Do Drivers Who Lie to the Insurance Company Face Any Penalties?
In Michigan, lying to the insurance company is a felony. People found guilty of insurance fraud face hefty fines, legal fees and jail time. Additionally, this crime becomes a part of a person’s permanent record. Anyone convicted will have to deal with the negative consequences. For instance, having a criminal record may make it harder to get a good job or be approved for housing.
If convicted, the penalties for committing insurance fraud in Michigan may include:
- Up to $50,000 in fines
- Court costs, legal fees and restitution
- Up to four years in prison
- A felony charge on your permanent record
Why At-Fault Drivers May Lie About a Crash
Many at-fault drivers think they can get off the hook by lying about how a crash happened. Looking at the penalties for committing insurance fraud, it is hard to understand why someone would lie about a crash. However, people often do not think about the consequences of lying in this situation, or how serious a crime it is. That said, without an attorney helping you to dispute any false statements, the negligent driver could get away with it.
When at-fault drivers lie after a crash, it is often because they know they committed a traffic violation, such as:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances
- Running through a red light or stop sign
- Driving while distracted by texting, music or goofing around with other passengers
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Driving aggressively or engaging in acts of road rage
- Getting behind the wheel and driving drowsy
- Failing to use a turn signal or check for traffic before changing lanes
Clearly these drivers are trying to avoid getting a ticket or being assessed with higher premiums. Sometimes they may already have one or more prior tickets. These individuals likely want to avoid getting more points on their license or having it suspended altogether. If a driver has prior DUI convictions, he or she may also be trying to avoid possible jail time.
What Steps Can I Take if the At-Fault Driver Lies About the Crash?
You cannot control whether an at-fault driver lies about what happened in a crash. However, it is important to remember that whatever the negligent party tells the police or the insurance company is not the last word. Your side of the story also matters. So what steps can you take to protect your claim in this situation?
If the at-fault driver lies about your crash, you can help to protect your claim by doing the following:
- Call 9-1-1: Having an officer at the scene ensures you get an official report of the crash. The police can also help to maintain calm and get medical assistance to the scene more quickly.
- Avoid reacting or losing your temper: How you respond to others at the crash site, including the other driver, matters. Credibility is everything in an injury claim, and arguing about the crash will not resolve anything. Effectively, your claim begins right after the crash happens. Anyone at the scene who interacts with you or sees how you behave is a potential witness for you or against you.
- Gather evidence after the crash: If you can safely do so, take photos of the damage to both vehicles, crash debris, road signs, or anything else that may help support your claim. Getting contact details from credible witnesses is also a good idea.
- Be truthful and consistent: You may have to tell your side of things multiple times after a crash, beginning at the crash scene. Tell the truth about what happened, but do not ramble. Let the investigators figure out the details, including how the crash occurred. Simply relate the basic facts and be consistent. The truth is easier to remember than a lie when you have to recall the story again later.
- Seek help from a qualified attorney: Waiting to call an attorney after a car crash is not a good idea. Having legal help on your side from the beginning may greatly benefit your claim. This is especially true if you need to dispute the other party’s false statement.
Contact Our Trusted Firm for Legal Help After a Crash
If you were injured in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence, we encourage you to seek legal help right away. Car crash claims are often challenging, but even more so if the at-fault driver lies about what happened. Working with a qualified attorney from day one may help you to recover maximum compensation.
At Jay Trucks, we have recovered over $500 million in compensation for our clients. We have extensive knowledge of the laws and experience handling complicated claims.
Get answers to your questions and learn what legal options may be available to you in a free, no-risk case review.
Proven Results. 866-244-0440