When two cars collide in Kansas City, it’s often easy to tell who is at fault. In many cases, it is as simple as someone running a red light or not stopping in time to avoid a rear end crash. In other cases, however, there may be no neutral witnesses, or the facts may be difficult to prove for other reasons.
Auto accident lawyers often spend a significant amount time investigating crashes with very little evidence and no good witnesses. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do. But in most cases, there are objective facts that can be elicited through careful analysis and investigation. Here are some key points to remember about so-called “he-said/she-said” collisions.
It Comes Down to Which Story Makes More Sense
Many otherwise hard-to-prove cases eventually just come down to common sense. The simpler and more reasonable your account of the accident is, the more likely it will be believable to a jury. Believability plays a huge role in negotiations, because insurance companies know that if the case doesn’t settle, you have a right to take the other driver to court. At that point, it’s out of their control and in the hands of regular folks – jurors – to decide what really happened.
Four-Way Stops Do Actually Have Rules
Every state has its own way of dealing with four-way stops. In some states, it just comes down to who got there first. In Missouri, Section 304.351 of the Revised Statutes provides a detailed discussion of the rules for approaching four-way intersections. The first to get to the intersection has the right-of-way. But if two or more vehicles approach at roughly the same time, then drivers yield to the driver to their immediate right.
A common insurance company tactic is to say that four-way stop intersections are the result of ‘shared blame’ or contributory negligence. You may know the other driver ran a stop sign, but insurance adjusters will still just deny the claim. An experienced attorney can sometimes look at the damages, the angles of impact, and even consult with crash experts when necessary, in order to show that it’s more likely that the other driver did not even come to a stop.
No Witness Does Not Mean “No Proof”
Just because no one stopped to provide witness information does not always mean it’s your word against the other driver. Here are just a few other possible sources of “proof:”
- Traffic cameras
- Closed circuit cameras from businesses
- Police dash cams
- Police body cams
- Employees in nearby businesses
- Residents in nearby homes and apartments
Focus on the Damages (property and injury)
Lastly, even in the most obvious case of he-said / she-said can sometimes be proven through the leftover damages. For instance, in a case involving a rear-end collision, the other driver may claim she just began to pull forward and you braked hard causing the crash. If the damage to the other driver’s vehicle is significant, this could be an indicator of a higher speed impact, meaning she was not just starting to move, but rather, she simply failed to stop. Likewise, the type of bodily injuries experienced by you and the other driver are sometimes strong indicators of fault.
Comprehensive and Experienced Legal Help When You Need it Most
At the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm, we take pride in focusing our practice exclusively on injury victims. We never represent the insurance companies, and we never charge our clients upfront for fees. Instead, we only get paid if you do, so we work hard to make sure you recover as much as possible for your injuries. Call us to set your free consultation today.