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Defense options after car accident.

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

Posted

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
Fransen&Molinaro;, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
(951)520-9684
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a Lawyer, call the Doctor"

** 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;, LLP 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206 Corona, CA 92879 (951)520-9684 www.FRANSENANDMOLINARO.com and www.888MDJDLAW.com “When you need a Lawyer, call the Doctor” ** 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.

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your thoughtful answer, Paul!

Posted

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 State Of Michigan and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship with our offices. It is for informational use only of the general laws in the State of Michigan, only. To retain our offices, you need to sign a contingency contract with us. We do offer free consultations and we can refer clients to lawyers in your State if you call us. Visit our webpage and tell us what you think. www.schnitzerlaw.net

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Posted

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 provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

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

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2 comments

Marc Sean Hurd

Marc Sean Hurd

Posted

The one thing that I would add here, however, is that an accident recon. expert can be expensive. An interim measure would be to see about getting traffic signal phasing records, which can often be used to determine if there was any sort of malfunction in the traffic lights. If there is no such malfunction (which, quite frankly, would be the most likely though certainly not guaranteed scenario), you can then assess the facts, costs of an expert etc., against the exposure, if any, that your mom may face. If the insurance is handling the claim, and the expsoure to them is significant, they may well want to foot the bill for it. That said, as counsel noted, it may be best to discuss all the facts with an attorney in your area, and Avvo is a good resource to find one.

Kevin Coluccio

Kevin Coluccio

Posted

Mr. Hurd is correct. The cost for an expert could be high. talk with an attorney

Posted

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 does not mean I am your attorney. In Arizona a non-lawyer is held to the same standards as an attorney so there are dangers to representing yourself. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. If you require legal assistance an in depth discussion of your case is needed as there are many other issues to consider such as defenses, statute of limitations, etc.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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

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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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