Why Collision Victims May Need Legal Advice Even If They Are Found At-Fault


March 05, 2017

Atlanta Auto Accident Injury Lawyers Explain Why Collision Victims Need Legal Advice Even If They Are Found At Fault

If you suffer serious injury in an auto collision in Atlanta, you might experience severe pain, intense anxiety, disability, costly medical care, Pain and Suffering and other damages. These difficult physical and emotional challenges can cause you severe financial hardship.

Although injury victims have the option of pursuing a legal claim for damages for such a loss, many people never pursue a claim or even talk to their insurance company, especially if the other party did not suffer significant vehicle damage or any injuries. Another common reason that many people elect not to pursue an auto accident settlement or judgment is that they assume they are at-fault for causing the crash. Motorists might base this assumption on a traffic ticket, law enforcement accident report, witness feedback (such as passengers or the driver of the other vehicle), or others. In this blog article, our Atlanta auto accident injury lawyers analyze why collision victims should not simply rely on the conclusions of an accident report or an investigating police officer.

Why Police Accident Reports Might Be Wrong Regarding the "At-Fault" Driver

While the fact you received a traffic citation, or you were identified as the "at-fault" driver in a police report is certainly important, police officers and the reports they prepare do not constitute the final word on liability for a car crash. There is a range of reasons the report might be inaccurate, such as:

• The injured driver was rushed to the hospital to receive medical attention, so the officer only heard the other driver's version of the accident.  This is also common in accidents in which a pedestrian is injured.
• Mistakes might have been made during the investigation by the officer that resulted in an invalid conclusion.
• Witnesses at the scene who were not truthful might have persuaded the officer to write the report in a way that favored their version of events.
• Police accident investigators often fail to consider factors such as a sudden emergency, inconsistent witness statements and others.
• The officer's interpretation of physical evidence at the scene might be influenced by witnesses who were mistaken because of faulty vision or a partially obstructed view.

These are just a few reasons that the conclusions of the police officer in a law enforcement accident report might be inaccurate. If you are involved in a crash, you should ask the officer for the report number, as well as the name and badge number of the officer. This information will make it easier to obtain a copy of the report after it has been completed. If you find any missing or inaccurate information in the report that might explain why you were determined to have been responsible for causing the accident, you should contact the officer to attempt to get the information corrected. The officer might even amend the report or write a supplemental report.

Issuance of a Traffic Citation Also Is Not a Good Indicator of Financial Responsibility for a Crash

Drivers involved in crashes also should not assume that a traffic citation establishes that the car accident was their fault. There are a few reasons that receipt of a traffic ticket is not necessarily a reliable indicator that you caused a crash. The traffic ticket might have been issued for a violation unrelated to the car crash, such as for a suspended a license, or the officer also could have determined that you had non-functioning headlights during the crash investigation. Although you might be cited for this violation, your suspended license or non-functioning headlights might not be relevant to the issue of fault if you are rear-ended while at a stop sign. Further, people get traffic tickets dismissed all the time, which often is based on the fact the officer did not have sufficient evidence to prove that the motorist engaged in the unlawful driving practice. 

Put Out Law Firm's Over 32 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You!

If you or your loved one is injured in an auto collision caused by someone else's negligence, you should talk to an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer at Montlick & Associates. Our firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located, the attorneys of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 529-6333
(800) LAW-NEED
Hours: Open Today · Open 24 hours

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.