Studies have shown that there are several injuries a person can sustain in minor car accidents that don’t show up for days after the incident. You get hit from behind, you’re barely jolted and you feel fine. You have no obvious injury and you would know if you were hurt wouldn’t you? Not always. People often think of “injuries” as broken bones, lacerations, and even head trauma. Our minds turn to severe, life-altering conditions. A Lawyer don’t often consider stained tendons, stretched ligaments, or contusions, but they should.
If your body went forward, your neck snapped back or you moved forward in a sudden manner, you may wake up with severe back pain tomorrow or the next day. The adrenaline following an accident can mask an injury. What if you exchanged information with the other driver, shake hands and go about your business without reporting the car accident to the police? Several weeks later, you are summonsed to court because the “other” guy has filed their own claim against you. You know they were at fault and you know that the injuries they are claiming and the property damage they say you caused are exaggerated if not downright false. Remember when you chose to drive away without a report? You’ve now stepped solidly into a “you say, they say” type of situation. Maybe you and the other party didn’t drive away from the car accident. Perhaps there was some minor damage to one or both of your vehicles that made you second guess yourself, so you decide to file a police report. You file with your insurance companies and the other party is found to be at fault. Their insurance company offers you a settlement and you take it. It seems the easiest thing to do and will enable you to get your car fixed more quickly.
Why is the odds of this happening so much higher in accident reports? Well the next time someone tells you something like this, ask them to explain what accident you were referring to. Maybe it was a minor car accident. Or maybe it was a major crash. As in, did you find the other car you were in to be totaled? If the case in which you have been told the other car was totaled was even remotely similar to the one you just described, there is a high probability that the victim is lying. Someone may say the other driver was at fault but they could also say that the other person was at fault for not having the courtesy to report the accident. Some people do call 911 during an accident and others just stay home.
Your vehicle may have front end damage, a minor puncture wound or you may suffer a head injury, but unless the other person talks to the police, it does not mean they were at fault in this particular case. The police have no way of knowing if the person lying wants the accident covered up. That information was never reported. The only way to know for sure if you were involved in a car accident is to file a police report. If the police find out who caused the accident and has the insurance that makes the damage happen, they will often refer the case to the District Attorney.