Defense options after car accident.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Venice, CA

My mom was involved in a car accident with both her and the other driver claiming that both were traveling on a green light.

- No police report was taken.
- The other party has located a witness who claims to have seen my mom traveling on the red light
- Mom's insurance company is that my mom is at fault solely based on the witness statement.
- We believe that the witness is biased

Question:
My mom is sure that she was traveling on green light and we suspect that the witness might be biased. Do we have any options at this point?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . When two drivers each accuse the other of running a red light... there are only a few possible scenarios... only one of which is true... one driver is lying and one is telling the truth or the light system was faulty and both lights were green at the same time. The light system being faulty is very unlikely. Whether a driver who is found at fault should pay for his or her own legal representation may depend on how much is at stake. If the amount of damages is well below policy limits, there may be no need to hire a lawyer to aggressively defend the at-fault driver. If the amount at issue is quite substantial, it may be worth hiring legal defense counsel. One way to tell what liability an at-fault driver faces is to buy an hour of lawyer's time with a local attorney and get some advice and counsel.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
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    ** This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker Fransen&Molinaro;... more
  2. Bret A. Schnitzer

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . One of the two cars was at fault. When there is an independent witness it spells trouble for the other driver? You would have to establish somehow that the witness is mistaken or not being honest. That is an uphill battle even for an experienced trial attorney. Without a deposition it is more difficult to establish. Good luck

    You should consult an attorney in your State at once. This response does not constitute legal advise outside the... more
  3. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Turn it over to your mom’s insurance and let them investigate. They have a good faith duty to investigate this matter. Also, it is possible to go to the local governmental entity responsible for the traffic lights and have them do a traffic light sequencing report, which lays out the red light/green light times at a certain time of the day.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more
  4. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    7

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    Answered . The best approach would be to talk with an attorney about your options. An attorney can retain an accident reconstruction specialist to review the matter.c

  5. Gary A Kester

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am not in your State.

    What are you trying to accomplish? If you look at your insurance policy you will likely find that the insurance company makes the determination about payment of claims. It would be foolish to try to keep them from paying out on a claim as this is why you purchase insurance.

    I am an Arizona attorney. AVVO does not pay us for our responses. Simply because I responded to your question... more
  6. Edmond Elias Salem

    Contributor Level 3

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    Answered . These are very difficult situations to be involved in. I'm assuming that the accident occurred at an intersection. An independent witnesses testimony who does not have a dog in the fight goes a long way. You say the witness is bias, how do you know that? You will need to find another witness who observed the accident. If so, it becomes a matter of he said, she said. Ask your insurance company if it is willing to do a reconstruction of the accident. These are very expensive and most likely the carrier will say no. Good luck.

  7. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Advise your insurance company about your suspicions and cooperate with their investigation.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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