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Rosetat2d

Arbitrators can't find who was at fault

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In January of this year, I was involved in a car accident. I was at a stop sign in a shopping center, attempting to drive across the street directly into the parking lot of another shopping center. The other party was directly across from me, doing the same ( I assumed he was going straight since he had no signal on). When I saw that there were no cars coming from either side, I proceeded to cross the street. I was nearly to the driveway of the shopping center when the other driver turned left and t-boned me. So, in my opinion, the other driver was clearly at fault. I was unable to open my driver's side door as the air bags deployed from front and side. The police were called (by the other party). We exchanged information and gave our statements to the police. There were no witnesses. No personal injury was suffered by either of us, thankfully. The damage was significant to my driver's side door and back door. The other driver's car sustained damage to his driver's side front bumper and headlight. Neither his insurance, nor my insurance were able to decide who was at fault as it was my word vs. his. I don't have the money to pursue the repairs for my car which will include my requiring a rental vehicle. Therefore, I pursued arbitration through our insurance companies. I just inquired with the new adjuster at my insurance and was advised that, once AGAIN, no decision could be made due to the stories of where the impact in the road occurred. In addition, the other driver claims he had his blinker on and that I was travelling at a high rate of speed. Neither of these facts is true. I am not sure what to do at this point. My biggest frustration at this point is that I thought going through arbitration would guarantee that someone would be found at fault so that I can at least put the issue to rest, hopefully in my favor. Can anyone offer some input or advice?

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15 minutes ago, Rosetat2d said:

the other driver claims he had his blinker on and that I was travelling at a high rate of speed. Neither of these facts is true.

 

Your word versus his.  Without impartial witnesses or video evidence, this isn't something that can be resolved.

 

 

16 minutes ago, Rosetat2d said:

Can anyone offer some input or advice?

 

I assume you didn't have collision coverage on your car.  Otherwise, you wouldn't be here.  However, if you did have collision coverage, why on Earth haven't you made a claim against it?  With collision coverage, your own insurer will pay to repair your vehicle (less the deductible), regardless of fault.  If you didn't have collision coverage, then you probably also didn't have rental car coverage.

 

If those assumptions are correct, then your only recourse is to sue the other driver.  If you do it in small claims court (which you can if your damages are under $10k), then neither of you will be allowed to be represented by an attorney, so the playing field will be even.  Of course, you'll probably be countersued, and there's a possibility that you'll get the same result for the same reason, but you have very little to lose other than your time and the filing fee.

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38 minutes ago, Rosetat2d said:

My biggest frustration at this point is that I thought going through arbitration would guarantee that someone would be found at faul

 

Seems bizarre to me that the arbitrator wouldn't at least find that you were both equally at fault.

 

There are two concepts here.

 

1 - A driver exiting a driveway must yield to other traffic.

2 - A driver making a left turn must yield to other traffic.

 

That the collision occurred means that you both failed to yield to each other and a reasonable decision would be that you are each 50% at fault.

 

That would allow you to recover half your repair cost from the other driver's insurance and he would recover half his repair cost from your insurance.

 

I suggest you insist on a copy of the arbitrator's written decision.

 

Then you can decide if you want to pursue this in court. You are entitled to ask for a trial de novo if you file the request within 60 days of the arbitrator's decision.

 

See Question 11:

 

http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/portal/page?_pageid=55,1555406&_dad=portal

 

 

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2 hours ago, adjusterjack said:

You are entitled to ask for a trial de novo if you file the request within 60 days of the arbitrator's decision.

 

See Question 11:

 

http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/portal/page?_pageid=55,1555406&_dad=portal

 

This only applies to non-binding arbitration ordered by the court after a lawsuit has been filed.  It doesn't apply to the OP's situation.

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