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decentlife

the other party denied liability

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Last Wednesday, some car ran red light and hit me when I was turning left on green arrow. There were 2 cars before me when we were waiting for the traffic lights changing. The right front part of my car was damaged. The other party's insurance company sent damage estimator yesterday, and said my car is totaled. Today, they phoned me they deny the liability as there is no witness and the other driver said he was running yellow light.

When I was hit, my baby cried all of sudden. The first thing I did was to check the baby. The other driver said sorry to me, and said something blocked his vision. And then he called 911. Fire engine came very quickly, and transferred everything out of the scene. So I could not get a chance to ask for a witness's contact, even though some drivers offered to be witnesses.

Now the other driver said he was running yellow light, and his insurance company denies the liability. What I can do? How could people make such a car accident, and walked away?

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Last Wednesday, some car ran red light and hit me when I was turning left on green arrow.

Since you've posted on the "non-injury accidents" board, I assume you meant that this car hit your car, not you.

What I can do?

I imagine you can do lots of things. Did you contact your insurance company about the accident? Were you carrying collision coverage or only liability coverage? If you had collision coverage, you can make a claim against that coverage to get paid the lesser of the cost to repair your vehicle or the vehicle's fair market value at the time of the accident (less your deductable). You can sue the driver of the other vehicle. I'm sure there are many other things you can do.

How could people make such a car accident, and walked away?

I'm not sure if this is intended to be a rhetorical question. The other driver's insurance company's responsibility is to the other driver, not to you. The other driver's insurer will pay you if it concludes, after a reasonable investigation, that the negligence of its insured caused the accident. Apparently, based on information from the other driver, it has concluded that was not the case. If you disagree, you are free to sue the other driver. If you win, the other driver's insurer will pay the judgment in your favor.

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When you make a left turn you have a duty to yield to oncoming traffic.

That you got hit means you didn't yield because if you had yielded you wouldn't have been hit.

Failing to yield when you had a duty to do so is negligence.

Granted, a defense could be that the other driver ran the red light but without independent unbiased third party witnesses to testify to that you have nothing but the fact that you failed to yield and got hit.

That's why the other driver's insurance company denied your claim.

If you sue the driver you will have to present EVIDENCE (not just sayso) that he ran the red light and I don't see that you have any.

If you have collision insurance make the claim on your own policy.

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Thank you for your reply. Do you mean even if I was on green arrow, I have a duty to yield to oncoming traffic? His car was on the right lane of his traffic, while my car was on the left lane of double turn lanes. There was little chance I would see his car coming out all of sudden in this case.

Find witnesses probably is the only option?

When you make a left turn you have a duty to yield to oncoming traffic.

That you got hit means you didn't yield because if you had yielded you wouldn't have been hit.

Failing to yield when you had a duty to do so is negligence.

Granted, a defense could be that the other driver ran the red light but without independent unbiased third party witnesses to testify to that you have nothing but the fact that you failed to yield and got hit.

That's why the other driver's insurance company denied your claim.

If you sue the driver you will have to present EVIDENCE (not just sayso) that he ran the red light and I don't see that you have any.

If you have collision insurance make the claim on your own policy.

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Thank you for your reply. I appreciate that.

Since you've posted on the "non-injury accidents" board, I assume you meant that this car hit your car, not you.

I imagine you can do lots of things. Did you contact your insurance company about the accident? Were you carrying collision coverage or only liability coverage? If you had collision coverage, you can make a claim against that coverage to get paid the lesser of the cost to repair your vehicle or the vehicle's fair market value at the time of the accident (less your deductable). You can sue the driver of the other vehicle. I'm sure there are many other things you can do.

I'm not sure if this is intended to be a rhetorical question. The other driver's insurance company's responsibility is to the other driver, not to you. The other driver's insurer will pay you if it concludes, after a reasonable investigation, that the negligence of its insured caused the accident. Apparently, based on information from the other driver, it has concluded that was not the case. If you disagree, you are free to sue the other driver. If you win, the other driver's insurer will pay the judgment in your favor.

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Thank you for your reply. Do you mean even if I was on green arrow, I have a duty to yield to oncoming traffic? His car was on the left lane of his traffic, while my car was on the left lane of double turn lanes. There was little chance I would see his car coming out all of sudden in this case.

Find witnesses probably is the only option?

Here's the problem. You say you had the green arrow. The other driver says you didn't. In the absence of witnesses to the status of the traffic lights the only conclusion anybody can make is that you got hit because you didn't yield.

Yes, finding witnesses is the only option.

I'm living proof of how that works. It happened decades ago. I was ready to make my left. Oncoming traffic stopped. I started my turn and a car came out of nowhere and I hit him. I thought "Oh _______, I've bought this one. Left turners are always at fault." Police come and start working, they have us get out of the intersection and into a nearby parking lot. I sit and wait for the inevitable when one of the officers comes over and tells me that another driver had been behind the guy I hit and he gave a statement that the other driver ran the red light and was exceeding the speed limit. Thanks to that witness I was able to collect from the other driver's insurance instead of having my insurance pay and surcharge me for the accident.

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Thank you for your story. I do appreciate your input. Hopefully, I will be as lucky as you, and find a witness.

Here's the problem. You say you had the green arrow. The other driver says you didn't. In the absence of witnesses to the status of the traffic lights the only conclusion anybody can make is that you got hit because you didn't yield.

Yes, finding witnesses is the only option.

I'm living proof of how that works. It happened decades ago. I was ready to make my left. Oncoming traffic stopped. I started my turn and a car came out of nowhere and I hit him. I thought "Oh _______, I've bought this one. Left turners are always at fault." Police come and start working, they have us get out of the intersection and into a nearby parking lot. I sit and wait for the inevitable when one of the officers comes over and tells me that another driver had been behind the guy I hit and he gave a statement that the other driver ran the red light and was exceeding the speed limit. Thanks to that witness I was able to collect from the other driver's insurance instead of having my insurance pay and surcharge me for the accident.

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Thank you for your story. I do appreciate your input. Hopefully, I will be as lucky as you, and find a witness.

Get a copy of the police report. If any witnesses came forward at the scene they would be listed.

If there are no witnesses listed in the police report try running an ad on Craigslist. There's a "general" category under Community.

You can also try posting notices on bulletin boards at stores near the intersection.

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When you make a left turn you have a duty to yield to oncoming traffic.

. . .

Granted, a defense could be that the other driver ran the red light. . . .

I disagree. A driver making a left turn with a green arrow has no duty to yield to oncoming traffic, and that the other driver ran a red light is a breach of that driver's duty to yield. Of course, it is correct that, without independent witnesses, the color of the lights/arrows may come down to the conflicting testimony of the two drivers.

If you sue the driver you will have to present EVIDENCE (not just sayso) that he ran the red light and I don't see that you have any.

The plaintiff's testimony is evidence. Whether it's enough evidence to prevail is obviously impossible for us to know.

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We have posted an ad on Craigslist. Hopefully, someone will respond to us.

Today, I went to the scene, and found a witness who was dumping trash at the corner that time. He did notice what the traffic was. But he could not catch the moment light, as he looked up after heard the wreck.

Will his statement help? His description matches mine. If the other party describes differently, will that prove the other party is lying? and therefore, he ran a red light?

Get a copy of the police report. If any witnesses came forward at the scene they would be listed.

If there are no witnesses listed in the police report try running an ad on Craigslist. There's a "general" category under Community.

You can also try posting notices on bulletin boards at stores near the intersection.

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We have posted an ad on Craigslist. Hopefully, someone will respond to us.

Today, I went to the scene, and found a witness who was dumping trash at the corner that time. He did notice what the traffic was. But he could not catch the moment light, as he looked up after heard the wreck.

Will his statement help? His description matches mine. If the other party describes differently, will that prove the other party is lying? and therefore, he ran a red light?

Description of what?

If your witness cannot testify that he could see you and the green arrow at the same time or the other driver and the red light at the same time, then his testimony is useless to you.

But if his testimony is helpful to you, he will have to come to court and personally testify. Statements are not acceptable in court because every party to litigation has a right to face and question witnesses against them. If the witness isn't there to testify they can get the statement ruled inadmissable.

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No. He cannot testify the light. But he did see cars were turning eastbound, and there were no cars driving northbound and southbound.

Do you mean the insurance company won't take his testimony, but I can sue the other driver in a small claim court with the witness?

Description of what?

If your witness cannot testify that he could see you and the green arrow at the same time or the other driver and the red light at the same time, then his testimony is useless to you.

But if his testimony is helpful to you, he will have to come to court and personally testify. Statements are not acceptable in court because every party to litigation has a right to face and question witnesses against them. If the witness isn't there to testify they can get the statement ruled inadmissable.

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No. He cannot testify the light. But he did see cars were turning eastbound, and there were no cars driving northbound and southbound.

The dispute boils down to whether you had the green arrow or whether the other driver ran the red lite.

If your witness cannot testify as to the relationship of the lights to the drivers then his testimony is likely to be useless because the lack of cars turning or moving or even stopping could be independent of the traffic lights by seconds.

Do you mean the insurance company won't take his testimony,

I'm sure that the insurance company will take his statement but the claim reps might view it as I do.

but I can sue the other driver in a small claim court with the witness?

Yes.

But, again, a judge might also view the testimony the same way I do.

No way to predict.

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I presume that you don't have insurance; otherwise, I'm not clear why all the focus on his insurance company deciding not to process a claim based on their client's assertions. 

I'd be posting signs on neon paper at the intersection wherever it's legal to do so.

You're free to sue the dude for the damages (I'd send him a demand letter first).  Ultimately, regardless of lack of other witnesses, a court may or may not decide it's more likely than not that you're telling the truth.  (For all you know, this guy has a history of accidents and you may or may not in your state be able to get his driving record.)

So far you haven't said a thing that I can see about a police report/response (EMS doesn't count), so I presume no police showed up to take an accident report?  Next time, even if someone else has called for help, make sure that you call/ask for police.

I'm afraid the second someone offered to be a witness (and even before that), you should have asked them to text or call your phone number so that you'd have it.  Oh well.

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On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 7:32 AM, pg1067 said:

I disagree. A driver making a left turn with a green arrow has no duty to yield to oncoming traffic, and that the other driver ran a red light is a breach of that driver's duty to yield. Of course, it is correct that, without independent witnesses, the color of the lights/arrows may come down to the conflicting testimony of the two drivers.

The plaintiff's testimony is evidence. Whether it's enough evidence to prevail is obviously impossible for us to know.

Do passengers in the car count as witnesses or would they be considered biased and unreliable?

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So something similar happened with me. I was making a u turn and actually needed to wait for the left arrow to turn green and i did. I was in the middle of making the u turn when the guy hit me. I noticed him a couple seconds before he hit me, so i couldnt stop it. He claimed he saw the other car near him go, so he went. Obviously he wasnt looking at his light and he hit a red light. He must've looked at the cars waiting to turn left. Anyways, we never called the police because no one was injured. Later his insurance told me hes saying he had a green light and since i was making a u turn, i shouldve seen him. He didnt even look at the pictures i had of the incident that show i was already in the middle of my u turn and he did not contact the passengers in my car because they will be 'biased'. I just want to know, if i had 4 people in my car who can testify and tell the truth, that i had the green arrow, would that be enough in small claims court? 

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44 minutes ago, Irritated_driver said:

if i had 4 people in my car who can testify and tell the truth, that i had the green arrow, would that be enough in small claims court? 

 

No need to take the time to repost. I'll answer the question and save you the trouble.

 

No.

 

In the absence of independent unbiased witnesses, the testimony of your passengers are likely to be considered biased and unreliable, as would be yours.

 

You are welcome to try small claims court and see how it goes.

 

Just understand that when you make a left (or U-turn) and get hit by an oncoming vehicle the presumption is that you failed to yield and caused the collision.

 

 

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