What to do if I was in a car accident on the highway and am wrongly being held at fault?

UPDATED: Nov 21, 2014

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What to do if I was in a car accident on the highway and am wrongly being held at fault?

The ambulance came and took me to the hospital. The police did not take a statement from me or any of my passengers but they did take a statement from the people that hit me. Now they are saying I am at fault when I know I am not at fault. Is there a lawyer that will help prove that I was not at fault?

Asked on November 21, 2014 under Accident Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Only a court, such as in a civil case (if you are sued) or a criminal case (if they try to prosecute you)  can hold you to be "at fault"--if anyone but a court says you are at fault, that is their opinion, and while it may be a knowledgable opinion (such as that of the highway patrol or an insurance adjuster), entitled to respect, it stll has no legal effect. Only if and when a court finds fault is there legal effect.

You can certainly find an attorney to help you--either to defend you from liability, or to sue another person who you believe to be at fault--but you'll have to hire and pay that lawyer. If you can't afford an attorney--and that means literally *cannot* afford, not that you don't want to pay, or paying is a burden--and there is criminal action taken against you, then you should be able to get a public defender or someone from Legal Aid. If you are sued and need a lawyer and cannot afford one, you can try contacting Legal Services--they help people who can't afford lawyers in many, but not all civil cases--but be aware that they might not help you; there is no intrinsic right to a lawyer in civil (non-criminal) case). And if you want to sue someone else, you'll definitely have to hire an attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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