Can I dispute or challenge an auto insurance company's claim finding me at fault for an auto accident ?....more>>>

Asked about 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

I made a left turn in an intersection which still had a green signal, but was completely stopped, during gridlock traffic and was hit on the passenger-side rear quarter panel. Not much damage, but other car was very badly damaged on their front end, as a result of excessive speed. My insurance agent said,(and it was later ruled), that since I had made the left turn, I was at fault, REGARDLESS of the other vehicle's speed. I want to dispute this, because I looked and saw no cars, and have (HAD) a perfect driving record until now....Me: 47yrs. old, Other driver: 20yrs. old

Attorney answers (7)

  1. David Lee Fiol

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . As the other attorneys have indicated, it is going to be very difficult for you to escape all fault in this situation, because of the statutory duty of a left-turning driver to yield to oncoming traffic going straight through the intersection. If, however, you feel that the fault is shared and you wish to have this established, and all your attempts to reason with the insurance company does not bring results, your next step would be to retain an attorney to turn up the heat. If you have suffered injuries as a result of the accident you will likely find an attorney who can take on the case on contingency. Alternatively, you can sue the other driver in small claims court and ask for a finding of fault by the court, which the insurance company would be required to respect.

  2. Tanya Marie Bachand

    Contributor Level 15

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Generally left-hand turn statutes are pretty unforgiving, although there are a set of circumstances, such as the one you describe, where it might only be partially your fault. Further, insurance company decisions on denials of coverage can be appealed or are reviewable by the state's insurance department. Determination of fault, however, is something you are stuck with, I'm afraid.

    This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  3. George Costas Andriotis

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hire a traffic ticket attorney to dispute the ticket and go from there but typically left hand turns where accidents result are the fault of the turning party.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.
  4. Heather A Lottmann

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Did you have a solid green signal in which you were to yield? If so, you are likely at fault. If you had a green arrow, then you should not be at fault if the light was still on the green arrow when you were struck. It seems unlikely that you were 100% at fault in this instance; however I do not know if that gets you anywhere as I do not know how CA comparative fault works.

    In MO, if you are 80% at fault, you can still recover 20% of your damages from the other party. In KS, if you are 50% or more at fault, then you cannot recover anything. You should contact a local personal injury attorney as well as a traffic attorney in your area to discuss your options and how to protect your potential claim. Good luck.

    The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The information provided... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Spend a couple hundred bucks for a local traffic court lawyer to fight the citation.

  6. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Talk to your insurance adjuster and ask them to explain their appeal process.

  7. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . VC Section 21801 Left Turn or U Turn


    Left-Turn or U-Turn

    21801. (a) The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.


    (b) A driver having yielded as prescribed in subdivision (a), and having given a signal when and as required by this code, may turn left or complete a U-turn, and the drivers of vehicles approaching the intersection or the entrance to the property or alley from the opposite direction shall yield the right-of-way to the turning vehicle

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