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I'm taking someone to small claims. Can they use anything from their insurance company like: their evaluations or a statement

San Jose, CA |

Someone hit me in a parking lot . That person said we were both backing up which is not true . Their insurance company only wants to pay 50s of damages to my car . They said the photos the adjuster took showed backwards movement . Can the Defendant use any statements , their evaluation of the photo's and how they made their decision based on photo's ?

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

See prior response. Bring your witness to the hearing to testify.

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Posted

Witness is out of state. It would cost me more to fly them here.

Posted

Why is your insurance company not paying for the 50% of the damage? Is it because you have a high deductible? Did you not have coverage. Please elaborate so we can answer your question.

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Posted

My Insurance company will pay the other 50% with no problem. My deductible is the standard $500. I have FULL coverage on my vehicle. The reason I wanted to take this person to small claims is based on principle. I was not moving when the other person said that I was and their Insurance is playing hard ball and siding with them. They also are looking at the photo's of the damage and is basing their decision on scratches and the direction of those scratches. That’s another reason it bugs me because they have no idea what they are talking about.

Posted

Bring your witness to court.

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Posted

Unfortunately, that may come up in court. The rules of evidence do not generally apply in small claims court. However, if you have a reasonable judge, he/she should realize that the insurance company's statements and positions are almost always self-serving and one sided. My experience is that small claims court is nothing more than appearing in front of Judge Judy. Sometime she gets it right, sometimes she does not. But, what I can say is that she does weed through self-serving statements like those of the opposing insurance company. Best of luck to you!

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Posted

Thanks, this was very helpful.

Posted

The ins co adjuster is not allowed to testify unless they actually are a witness. If they saw the crash, ok. If they spoke to you or a witness, and are testifying to the conversation, probably ok even though technically it may be hearsay. The adjuster cant give opinion about who was backing based upon their review of the photos etc. unless they can qualify as an expert in accident reconstruction. If adjuster has been trained and has experience in pro damage cases, they can probably give opinions about the amount the repairs should cost etc. Some small claims court judges arent aware of the limits on adjusters. You can talk to the small claims court adviser to ger citation to the code sections so you can respectfully point it out to the judge if he/she doesnt know the limits.

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