I was crossing an intersection and there was a stop sign on my side and the way was clear then as i was approaching to cross the intersection a speeding school bus came out of the nowhere and hit the front right of my car causing me to loose control and hit a parked vehicle. My insurance company say I'm 65% responsible for the accident because the bus had the right of way. The police report and witnesses all say otherwise due to the bus coming out of the nowhere. Who is at fault?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Did the bus have a stop sign? Was the road the bus was on straight such that you could have seen the bus?
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 17 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Ethics / Professional Responsibility Lawyer
There is no correct answer. Only a jury can make a final determination of the parties percentages of liability. It sounds like the insurance company is adhering to a common formula of 2/3 - 1/3 liability in the case of an intersection accident, where the intersection is controlled by a stop sign ( i.e., you had the stop sign, so you're 2/3 at fault). This is a common approach, but it's not necessarily accurate, as you know. For example, if the other vehicle was speeding, then its percentage of liability should (arguably) be higher. Witness statements from the witnesses to the accident could persuade the insurance company to alter their evaluation. Also, perhaps the damage and points of impact. Heavy damage to your car could show that the other vehicle was speeding. If the damage is to the rear if your car, it could show that you were through the intersection when he hit you. Speak to a lawyer who can review all of the facts with you. Good luck.
Personal Injury Lawyer
It could be you, the bus driver or, more than likely, both of you. Ultimately the percentages of fault (at least as far as the insurance company is concerned) is based upon the police report and an interview with their insured. I'm sure the bus driver indicated that you ran the stop sign. Temper that with the report as you've stated and that's how they arrived at their 65%. That number, however, is not written in stone.
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That 65% is not a final determination. Don't delay--contact a personal injury attorney soon and go over your options to make sure you protect your rights.
Any answer given here is NOT legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship in Ohio, Kentucky, or any other jurisdiction. Answers provided are for general information only and should not be considered legal advice for any purpose. For legal advice, you should contact an attorney within the jurisdiction relevant to your issue.
Estate Planning Attorney
This is not certain, you should contact personal injury attorney for guidance.