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Bravo21738

who is liable?

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My wife stopped at a stop sign.She was behind the white line. she looked left and started to look right when a vehicle coming from her right made a left hand turn in front of her striking her left front fender at about his left rear passenger door. The deputy Sherriff say he cannot assign blame because my wife could have backed up behind the white line before he arrived.

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First of all, the deputy's "assignment of blame" would have been useless in determining liability because he didn't see the accident.

 

Liability would have to be established by the facts.

 

Unfortunately, without witnesses, it's a he said she said sort of thing.

 

She would have to prove that she was stationary behind the line when the other driver cut into her lane.

 

He would have to prove that he made the turn properly and she moved forward without the way being clear.

 

If both have no witnesses, they both have no proof, and it's likely to be a wash.

 

She is welcome to make a claim against the other driver and see how it goes.

 

Report back with the results.

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Is the issue really whether she was stopped behind the white line as long as her vehicle was not in motion? In other words, if you are stopped across the white line but not in motion, does that give free license to another to hit your car? I'd say that it may be negligent to hit a stopped car. Period. The reasonable thing to do is to drive around it, regardless of where it is stopped.

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"It may be negligent to hit a stopped car. Period."

 

That's true. Most of the time. But there could be exceptions.

 

The type of accident described by the OP could happen in a second and she could have stopped beyond the line but appeared suddenly in front of the other driver and the other driver might not have been able to avoid the collision even though she had stopped.

 

You can observe how it works by stopping at a light and watch other drivers making the turn past you. Try to imagine what would happen if you pulled forward a few feet and stopped while others were still making the turn.

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If I accept the OP's story as absolute truth, then the other driver is liable, which is hardly surprising.  However, assessing liability without hearing everyone's story, without reading the police report (if one exists), and without reviewing any other physical evidence is folly.

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"She was behind the white line. she looked left and started to look right when a vehicle coming from her right made a left hand turn in front of her striking her left front fender at about his left rear passenger door."

 

- against -

 

"The deputy Sherriff say he cannot assign blame because my wife could have backed up behind the white line before he arrived."

Your post doesn't bother to explain the contradiction in information provided, which seems odd.  Either she was behind the white line or she wasn't.  As posted, the two pieces of  information suggest that she had begun to move.  If that wasn't the case, naturally seems to me that the cop was wrong, possibly based on misinfo from the other driver.

What the cop thinks is only relevant insofar as his ability to issue a citation to someone, which I presume he didn't do.

Contact your insurance company or, if you do not have one, your wife is free to sue the other driver for the damage.

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