Obtaining a fair insurance settlement is rarely easy, even when both sides are negotiating in good faith. But securing that settlement can seem all the more challenging when the at-fault driver actively tries to evade accountability by misrepresenting their role in the accident.
What to Do When the at-Fault Driver Isn’t Honest
Rhode Island is an at-fault insurance state. Under state law, the at-fault driver in an automobile accident is required to pay for third-party injuries and property damages. Ordinarily, these costs are covered by their insurance carrier. However, after a car accident, the insurance company will likely raise the at-fault driver’s insurance rate. Since a car accident could cost the at-fault driver thousands of dollars in long-term costs, they may seek to minimize the damage by misrepresenting or lying about their role in the accident. If you believe the at-fault driver is lying to the insurance company, your response to the dishonesty could be critical.
Staying calm while negotiating a settlement can be difficult, especially when you know the at-fault driver is lying. However, it’s important to stay composed and level-headed. If you project confidence, you’ll be much more likely to obtain the compensation you want and deserve. If you lose your temper or threaten the at-fault driver or their insurance company, you may lose credibility, stall negotiations, and make mistakes that can cost you financially. Try to view the negotiations as a business transaction and nothing more.
Tell the Truth
If you file a claim for insurance benefits with your own carrier or the other at-fault driver’s insurer, you will almost certainly be asked to speak to an adjuster. When the adjuster interviews you, tell the truth, and keep your answers as concise as possible.
You don’t want to exaggerate the at-fault driver’s negligent actions, and you should avoid providing the adjuster with any additional, speculative information. Just be honest, and respond to any questions with straightforward, truthful answers.
Providing evidence is a key factor in exposing the at-fault driver’s lies. If you were able to remain at the scene of the car accident, any evidence you collected could have a positive impact on your claim. Critical evidence in a Rhode Island car accident claim might include the following:
- A police report from the officer who investigated the accident
- Photographs of the damage to your vehicle
- Pictures of your visible injuries
- Eyewitness names and phone numbers
If you were unable to collect or preserve evidence from the scene, your Rhode Island car accident attorney could help you gather other evidence such as video footage of the crash.
Hire a Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer
Filing an insurance claim against a deceitful defendant can make obtaining compensation challenging. However, you do not have to fight for your rights alone. An experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer knows that defendants are not always honest. Your lawyer could help you overcome the at-fault driver’s claims by:
- Collecting, preserving, and analyzing the evidence needed to win your case
- Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Consulting expert witnesses, including traffic accident experts and medical specialists
- Negotiating a fair settlement
While you do not need a lawyer to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, numerous studies have shown that personal injury plaintiffs with competent legal representation fare significantly better in settlement negotiations than victims who try to secure their own compensation.
The assistance of an experienced Rhode Island car crash lawyer could make or break your case.
However, even if you plan to hire an attorney, you still need to act fast: Rhode Island has a strict statute of limitations applicable to most personal injury claims. If you wait too long to file a claim, the statute of limitations could lapse, forcing the court to dismiss your case without further consideration.