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abh73

Red Light, 5 witnesses against 1

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Sunday night I was stopped at a red light. I was going straight. The light turned green and I'll admit, I went as SOON as it turned green but I did not start moving when the light was still red. As soon as I started moving, my car was barely even into the middle of the intersection, I was hit by another car going well above the speed limit who ran a red light. They were most likely trying to beat the yellow and didn't. Completely destroyed my car and you can see by the damage that they were at least 60mph, and the road is 45mph. As soon as my car stopped spinning and rolled into the pole,  I got out of my car (my airbags did not go off) and this young man came up to, he came from the car that hit me, and asked if I was alright. The only thing I could say was "you ran a red light you ran a red light you could have killed me". They were 1 foot away from completely tboning me. The man admitted to me that the light just turned red when they crosses it. I'm 18, apparently this guy just also turned 18. But he was not the driver according to them (although I think he was driving and they're trying to say he wasn't because it was not his car). The person driving was a 17 year old girl who just got her license a few days before (as far as I'm aware I could be wrong on that). They had a total of 5 people in their car and it was only me in mine. When the ambulances and the firetrucks and all that jazz got there, no one separated this kids. They all changed the story to "it was a steady yellow". There is no such thing as a steady yellow as far as I'm aware. IF you have a yellow light, you slow down. It's called proceeding with caution. Doesn't mean go faster and try to beat it. 

I do have other witnesses but they didn't see the whole thing. There was a man behind me who owns the gas station across the street and he called me and told me those kids ran a red light. I asked him if that meant my light was green and he said he didn't see if my light was green he only saw that their light was red when they ran it, he looked down at his phone and when he looked up then he saw that they had hit me. 

I know I did not run a red light. I gave the police all my witness info, he went around to the business and none of them have video cameras that see the stop light. I'm really afraid that they're gonna say it was my fault when the investigation is over because they had 5 witness and it was only me in my car. I was also at work delivering a pizza and I'm really afraid the police are gonna think just because I'm a delivery driver I must be in a rush, which I wasn't. It was my last delivery of the night and I could have cared less if it was late or not. I would rather drive safe and risk having to give someone free food because their order was late than risking my life to give someone a stupid pizza. You can also tell by the impact on my car and theirs that I was going well below 10mph and they were going above. I don't know if that sort of forensic info helps determine anything but why would I be going that slow through a stop light unless I had be previously stopped at a red light and it turned green and I had just started moving. Why would I sit there at a red light for 2 minutes and decide to just run it? Idk if also because this girl was 17, only had her license for a few day and had her car stuffed for of 4 teenagers (which is against the law with a junior license) would help me at all.

I can't afford to buy a new car, and if the investigation concludes it was my fault then I'm gonna have to drop out of school because I won't have a car to get to class. Also if they conclude it's my fault I'm taking it to traffic court because I know it's not. Do I have enough evidence with the witness behind me and if they act out the accident to beat the case? it doesn't sit well with me that just because a car has more passengers than me then their word means more.

 

Other driver took ambulance to the hospital, I think she just has whiplash? I had my mom drive me to the hospital and they told I also just have whiplash. I do know that because I did not have commercial insurance I'm gonna have to pay out of pocket if it was my fault. I also know that PA is a no fault state so doesn't matter the outcome of the report, we both pay our own medical bills. 

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5 minutes ago, abh73 said:

Do I have enough evidence with the witness behind me and if they act out the accident to beat the case?

 

Here's your problem in a nutshell.

 

When you make a left turn you MUST yield to oncoming traffic. Getting hit while making the turn means you didn't yield because if you had yielded you wouldn't have been hit. That's negligence. The presumption is always on the left turner and if you don't have any eyewitnesses to the other driver's wrongdoing you buy the accident.

 

In this case you have a witness who says that the other driver ran a red light. That may be enough to get you out from under this and put the fault on the other driver.

 

I suggest that you contact your witness and personally get a detailed written statement from him to present to your insurance company and the other driver's insurance company.

 

11 minutes ago, abh73 said:

I do know that because I did not have commercial insurance I'm gonna have to pay

 

Worse, you may lose your insurance because you concealed your pizza delivery use from your insurance company.

 

Hard lesson from the school of hard knocks.

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1 minute ago, adjusterjack said:

 

Here's your problem in a nutshell.

 

When you make a left turn you MUST yield to oncoming traffic. Getting hit while making the turn means you didn't yield because if you had yielded you wouldn't have been hit. That's negligence. The presumption is always on the left turner and if you don't have any eyewitnesses to the other driver's wrongdoing you buy the accident.

 

In this case you have a witness who says that the other driver ran a red light. That may be enough to get you out from under this and put the fault on the other driver.

 

I suggest that you contact your witness and personally get a detailed written statement from him to present to your insurance company and the other driver's insurance company.

 

 

Worse, you may lose your insurance because you concealed your pizza delivery use from your insurance company.

 

Hard lesson from the school of hard knocks.

I wasn't turning left. I was going straight, they were also going straight.

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1 minute ago, abh73 said:

I wasn't turning left. I was going straight, they were also going straight.

 

Sorry, missed that. Then the other car came from right angles to you?

 

Disregard my comments about left turns. No, don't disregard them. Remember them for the times you do make left turns on green. A good rule of thumb is to hesitate when the light turns green and count 1, 2, 3 before moving while you keep an eye out for what other drivers are doing. Sure, you'll get honked at by the morons who honk the nano-second the light changes. So what. Would you rather get wrecked or honked at? No need to answer that. ;)

 

My comments about your witness are still valid.

 

Just now, abh73 said:

I also can't figure out how to delete the other post I made, sorry!

 

I reported it for deletion. Taken care of.

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Not sure exactly what your question is.

 

First, your post indicates you are in PA, so any answer I give could be inaccurate based upon the fact that I am not licensed to practice law in PA.

 

Whether you were going straight or making a left turn, you had the right of way, per the witness, whose statements will be more heavily weighted than your own, or the statements of driver/passengers in the other car.  The duty to yield on left turns means that you don't have the right of way; that another vehicle is entitled to pass through the intersection before you.  That clearly doesn't apply to someone who has a red light while you have a green light.  While not really clear, your post suggest that the other driver was coming from your left or right, and not from head on.

 

You are entitled to rely on the good conduct of other drivers on the road, so that should minimize your comparative fault.  However, just because you have the right of way, doesn't entitle you to pull in front of cross traffic.  A prudent driver still looks left and right before entering the intersection, particularly immediately after a light change.  As a result, you may have some comparative fault.

 

Perhaps more importantly, if you were delivering pizza at the time of the collision, your own insurance will probably exclude this collision from coverage.  Your employer's general liability or automobile liability insurance may extend to protect you from claims of the occupants of the other vehicle, and may provide collision coverage to get your own vehicle repaired.  This would be much easier than attempting to go through the insurer of the other driver.  In the absence of insurance coverage, your employer might be obligated to compensate you for property damages you incurred pursuing business on his behalf.  Consult with PA attorneys about that.

 

Further, since you were in the course and scope of employment, any injury you sustained would be covered by workers compensation.  If you were hurt, you should contact a PA workers compensation attorney to discuss your potential claims.

 

Finally, if your own insurance doesn't apply, and your employer is also uninsured or his insurance doesn't apply to you, then you must pursue the other driver/owner.  You can recover up to $12k in Small Claims in Pennsylvania.  Consult with a PA attorney about what evidence is admissible, but bring your witness, your photographs, and your estimates/receipts for repair and rental car during the period of disrepair.  If your car is totaled, bring evidence of its fair market value pre-collision.  You might be able to use kbb.com, edmunds.com, autotrader.com, craigslist.com, etc.

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41 minutes ago, abh73 said:

I was hit by another car going well above the speed limit

 

How do you know the other car was going above the speed limit?

 

 

41 minutes ago, abh73 said:

you can see by the damage that they were at least 60mph

 

Only an accident reconstruction expert can opine intelligently about this.

 

 

44 minutes ago, abh73 said:

There is no such thing as a steady yellow as far as I'm aware.

 

I suppose that depends on what one means by "steady."  Yellow lights certainly last for a short duration.

 

 

45 minutes ago, abh73 said:

I was also at work delivering a pizza and I'm really afraid the police are gonna think just because I'm a delivery driver I must be in a rush, which I wasn't.

 

Doesn't really matter what the police think.  What will matter is what your insurance company and the other driver's insurance company think.  It will also matter whether you disclosed to your insurance company that you would be using the vehicle for commercial purposes and obtained appropriate insurance coverage (of course, if you were driving a company vehicle, that won't be an issue, but it doesn't sound like that was the case).

 

 

47 minutes ago, abh73 said:

You can also tell by the impact on my car and theirs that I was going well below 10mph and they were going above.

 

Well...I suspect it's accurate that anyone will be able to tell that the other car was going above 10mph, but I doubt it's true that your car's speed will be ascertainable (but again, only an accident reconstruction expert can opine intelligently about this).

 

 

48 minutes ago, abh73 said:

why would I be going that slow through a stop light unless I had be previously stopped at a red light and it turned green and I had just started moving.

 

I'm guessing it is unlikely that anyone will dispute that you were starting up from a stop, but that doesn't preclude the possibility that you started before you had the green light.

 

 

49 minutes ago, abh73 said:

Idk if also because this girl was 17, only had her license for a few day and had her car stuffed for of 4 teenagers (which is against the law with a junior license) would help me at all.

 

Legally, it's irrelevant.

 

 

50 minutes ago, abh73 said:

I can't afford to buy a new car

 

Then I hope you were carrying collision coverage.

 

 

50 minutes ago, abh73 said:

if the investigation concludes it was my fault then I'm gonna have to drop out of school because I won't have a car to get to class.

 

You don't have buses where you live or you don't have a bicycle?

 

 

51 minutes ago, abh73 said:

Do I have enough evidence with the witness behind me and if they act out the accident to beat the case?

 

As you worded this sentence, it doesn't make much sense, and we obviously have no ability to opine intelligently about the weight of evidence that you've merely summarized.

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3 hours ago, pg1067 said:

 

How do you know the other car was going above the speed limit?

Because I did look left and right before proceeding through the green light and I didn't even see there headlights coming. Also the driver pretty much confirmed it with the police on the scene, but they kept the "it was a yellow light" story. 

 

 

Only an accident reconstruction expert can opine intelligently about this.

Yeah only an accident reconstruction expert can declare something in a report but trust me, it's pretty obvious and that even a blind person can see it. 

 

 

 

I suppose that depends on what one means by "steady."  Yellow lights certainly last for a short duration.

I'm not trying to be snappy but this isn't a legal document I'm typing up here and you can use your critical thinking skills to conclude that by steady they mean a yellow light that has been a yellow light for long enough to what they deem to cross the line before read which is ridiculous either way because yellow lights do NOT mean speed up so you can beat it! Proceed with caution! no caution was used while proceeding lol!

 

 

 

Doesn't really matter what the police think.  What will matter is what your insurance company and the other driver's insurance company think.  It will also matter whether you disclosed to your insurance company that you would be using the vehicle for commercial purposes and obtained appropriate insurance coverage (of course, if you were driving a company vehicle, that won't be an issue, but it doesn't sound like that was the case).

Well I certainly think when the police finish their report the conclusion is going to affect the insurance company. I did disclose but I hadn't gotten commercial insurance yet. I was actually going to get commercial insurance next week when I got my paycheck this Friday but I couldn't afford to do it right now. The timing sucks. But I don't really feel that foolhardy because 1% of pizza girls/boys have commercial insurance lol. I also know I'm a safe driver, and no one expects to be tboned, especially a week before they were going to get commercial insurance. I did speak with my insurance company and they said I'm not going to get penalized for it. I'm still on my parents insurance as well.

 

 

 

Well...I suspect it's accurate that anyone will be able to tell that the other car was going above 10mph, but I doubt it's true that your car's speed will be ascertainable (but again, only an accident reconstruction expert can opine intelligently about this).

 

 

 

I'm guessing it is unlikely that anyone will dispute that you were starting up from a stop, but that doesn't preclude the possibility that you started before you had the green light.

 

 

 

Legally, it's irrelevant.

Last accident I got in the age different seemed to be relevant. The police officer didn't even want to speak to me, only the old man in the jeep wrangler that hit me that time.

 

 

Then I hope you were carrying collision coverage.

 

 

 

You don't have buses where you live or you don't have a bicycle?

No. My campus is 30 miles away. 

 

 

As you worded this sentence, it doesn't make much sense, and we obviously have no ability to opine intelligently about the weight of evidence that you've merely summarized.

 

 

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The other driver's insurance  company called me today and offered me a rental car but no fault has been declared yet on the police report. Does this mean that the driver/her parents (since she's a minor) have taken responsibility regarding the insurances? I don't see why I would be offered a rental car if they thought I was in the wrong.

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I'm not telepathic nor clairvoyant. Offering you a rental "might" indicate an acceptance of liability or it "might" mean the claim rep is hedging his bets and offering the rental while investigating.

 

If you have doubts, just call the claim rep back and ask for the decision.

 

Also make sure that the rental car arrangement is direct bill from the rental company to the insurance company. That way you don't have to hassle with getting the bill. Though even if it's a reimbursement, you still need a rental. Understand you won't be allowed to deliver pizza in the rental car. And make sure you scan a complete copy of the rental car papers on to your computer in a permanent file.

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You seem to have quoted the entirety of my prior response and then inserted additional information within the quote box.  I'm not going to try and figure that out.  However, here's some information about folks who commute 30+ miles by bicycle.

 

 

15 hours ago, abh73 said:

The other driver's insurance  company called me today and offered me a rental car but no fault has been declared yet on the police report. Does this mean that the driver/her parents (since she's a minor) have taken responsibility regarding the insurances?

 

I have no idea what you mean by the part I underlined.  If the other driver admits to fault, her insurer will likely take that into account, but the insurer will make it's own decision about liability. The insured does not control that process.  Nor do the police make any sort of binding determination about fault (police sometimes opine about fault in their reports, but if no cop witnessed the accident, the cop's opinion is largely meaningless).  That the insurer offered you a rental car is certainly a good sign.

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The police do not determine liability.  A police officer prepares a report based on the statements of the individuals on the scene and on a usually cursory examination of the crash.  The purpose of the report is to document the crash, not determine who was at fault.  Although the officer may issue a citation to one or more drivers that is not a determination of liability.  In fact, in crash cases, the officer,s report is inadmissible as evidence since it is hearsay. He or she was (usually) not present and did not see the crash and prepares the report according to what he or she is told.

 

In many, if not most,  cases the ticket can be contested since the officer cannot testify as to any of the elements of the ticket.  The ticket only sticks if a witness appears at the hearing.

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