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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


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

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery. Any testimonials or endorsements should not be construed as a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of your case.


  2. 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.


  3. Bring your witness to court.

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  4. 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!


  5. 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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