You get in an accident. The other driver claims the light was green. It wasn’t. How do you overcome that? It’s easier than you think.
Disregarding a stoplight (or stop sign) is a leading cause of traffic accidents. And sometimes, it is one other drivers try to manipulate so they don’t have to be liable. In some cases they lie outright, and in others they honestly remember wrong. Both happen.
Let’s say you saw the light, and it was undoubtedly red. For now, it’s your word against someone else’s. You don’t want to have to make a claim with your insurance company because that will cost you some money and likely drive your premiums up. And you shouldn’t have to take responsibility if you were abiding by the law.
What Can You Do?
You’ll most likely have to go to court for this kind of accident case. The other driver’s insurance adjuster will be nearly impossible to convince.
The good news is you don’t have a high burden of proof. In criminal court, you must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In practicality, that’s a high standard. But in auto accidents, which happen in civil court, you simply must show it’s “more likely than not” the other driver caused the accident by disregarding the red light. That’s much easier to do.
You will need to develop evidence to win your case. Follow the steps from What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident to build a strong case. If you do that, you will maximize your possibility of recovering from the other driver.
Take a look at some other possibilities:
Can You Get Camera Evidence?
Camera evidence makes things pretty clear. But here’s the practical problem with that: it’s hard to get your hands on the footage before it gets deleted.
The agencies who monitor these cameras and their footage sometimes can store it for just a few days or weeks before deleting it. So, if you get in a car accident where the other driver claims the light was green, you have to act fast to get a hold of that footage. In other cases, they may be there just to detect motion and switch the light, and not to do any recording at all. That means it’s extremely important you build your case using the steps from our guide mentioned earlier.
If All Else Fails, Your Personal Injury Lawyer May Be Able to Help
In some situations, it may make sense to hire an accident reconstruction expert. But because they typically cost several thousand dollars, that generally makes more sense for bigger accidents. When you have a smaller accident, your personal injury lawyer may be able to analyze the facts of your situation and the other driver’s story. They may get just enough to help you win your claim. The attorney may have an investigator who can canvass the area for witnesses (like our firm does). Or the lawyer might believe you are likely to make a more credible witness than the person that caused the accident.
When any real evidence isn’t available, skillful cross-examination that attacks the other driver’s credibility may do the job. If your lawyer can find other areas of their life where they’re untruthful, that can harm the credibility that they are telling the truth in relation to the accident.
The bottom line is, when you get in a car accident, you want the best personal injury attorney you can hire. They can get you a fair amount for your injuries. And you only pay a case fee when you actually win. So there’s no risk in it for you.