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InKY123

wrongfully accused of a hit and run

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I am in kentucky. My fiance was driving my car while I was at work. I get a phone call from an officer saying that he has been involved in an accident, but fled the scene. He said there were 4 witnesses saying he hit a man on a motorcycle and drove off. He asked for my insurance information, which I couldn't give to him at the time because I didn't have it with me. The officer told me that when my fiance gets home, that I will see damage to the left side front bumper. When my fiance gets home, I look at the car and there is absolutely no damage, no dents, no paint transfer. My fiance said that he was not involved at all, that he did not hit anyone. With no damage to my car, I believe him. He(fiance) said that he was behind the motorcycle stopped at a red light, when the light turned green he went to get around him because he was in the wrong lane. He said that he was close to the motorcycle, but did not touch him. As he drove away, being in the right lane now, he looked in the rear view mirror and saw that the bike was layed down. So now the guy with the motorcycle has got an attorney which has contacted me about the insurance, which I don't want to hand over because I feel that if I do, then I'm admitting fault. Also, my insurance is under my parents name. We have an appointment Monday to go speak with the officer with the hit and run department. The new officer is now telling me that there wouldn't be any damage to my car because my fiance just clipped him, not actually hit him. Apparently there are damages to the bike, because he played it down on the ground, and now it seems that they want me to admit fault to this and pay for it. 

 

My question is, how do you determine fault if it's basically a he said she said situation?

 

Should I provide my insurance info even I believe that there was no collision?

 

Sorry for the long post, needing advice! Not sure what's going to happen next, or what to do.

Thanks!

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It's possible that your financé clipped the bike and didn't realize it. There is no way for you to really know, especially since you were not there. There would not always be damage to the car that hit the bike in that kind of situation. 

 

Proof comes in many forms, including testimony of the participants and any witnesses. Here, it’s evidently not just the word of the biker vs your fiancé. You said that there were four witnesses that told the police your fiancé hit the bike. If that’s true and the witnesses are credible, that’s not going to be easy to overcome.

 

You did not say in what state this took place, so I cannot say what your fiancé might be facing with a hit and run. But it’s probably a good idea for him to talk to a criminal defense attorney about it. I suggest he do that before you guys go into the police department on Monday. 

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Not sure why your fiance is asking for your insurance information if he's the operator and accused of responsibility for causing an accident.  The operator in KY is the person needs to carry insurance; he shouldn't be expecting your insurance (or rather your parents') to be claimed against because of something he caused.  That he was driving your car doesn't mean you're susceptible to liability, and at any rate it is a court that would decide.

 

Someone can perceive it as your fiance "hit[ting]" when in fact he may have barely bumped (enough).  He shouldn't have been "close to" the motorcycle regardless of whether he was switching lanes or no.  And if he was so close that four other people assert that he was responsible/changing lanes improperly, even if he didn't actually make contact, sounds like he caused the motorcycle to react in the face of imminent collision, and you do not say that the motorcycle was outside its lane.  It is possible to bump or even hit something and not have damage show up on your car.

 

"He(fiance) said that he was behind the motorcycle stopped at a red light, when the light turned green he went to get around him because he was in the wrong lane."

 

Not clear what you mean by "wrong", but I interpret as you saying your fiance decided to change lanes.  The question would be why your fiance was "close to" the motorcycle when switching lanes in the first place ... evidently close enough for others to believe he bumped him or the motorcycle had to take evasive action because he was (inexplicably) "close to" the motorcycle.

 

"Also, my insurance is under my parents name."

In other words, your car is on your parents' policy.

 

I don't see anyone wanting YOU to admit responsibility for the accident, and you aren't obligated to go talk with the police.  I'd be sending fiance on his own, but that's just a personal opinion.  Unless someone cites a statute saying you are legally obligated to cough up insurance because your fiance was driving your car when he caused an accident ... and refusal comes with a citation that you are ok dealing with ... you are free to decline to offer insurance info.

 

Yes, anyone can sue anyone else for anything, and that would include you as the owner of the car ... but I still say, if anyone, you should be expecting your fiance to step up and deal with this. 

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We are in kentucky, and I believe a hit and run is a felony offense. 

 

As I read 189.990, it says people who violate 189.580 (Duty in case of an accident - (1)(a) would apply in your fiance's situation) even in the event of a fatality, are subject to a fine between $25 and $2000 and not more than a year in jail making it a misdemeanor and not a felony.  Still probably not a bad idea to talk to a criminal defense attorney.

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Well, since this is my car and I am the one with the insurance on the car( under my parents policy, unfortunately). Am I legally bound to give the police my insurance policy info? They keep asking my fiance for it, and he is willing to show them that the car was insured, but I think they may want it all. I want this to go to trial and prove him guilty before anything is done with my insurance.

 

The officer I talked to said I would be responsible for the damages since it was my car, even though I wasn't driving. Unsure of my rights here, and not finding much help online...

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This response is not intended to create an attorney-client

relationship.

 

You need to promptly turn these circumstances in to your own vehicle liability insurance carrier. They should then defend you in a civil lawsuit if you would get sued in a civil lawsuit. This situation comes under possible "vicarious" liability theories.  Your own vehicle insurance carrier may choose not to defend you IF you fail or refuse to fully cooperate with them. 

 

Did your boyfriend have his own vehicle insurance

coverage from a different company?   Did your boyfriend

have a valid operator's license in his name? Was your

boyfriend living with you at the time of the occurrence?

Were there any active warrants pending against your 

boyfriend at the time of the occurrence?

 

Your own vehicle insurance company should be going

forward with an investigation, assuming that they get

your and your boyfriend's 100% cooperation.

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