Is it correct that I am suing in small claims court?

Asked over 1 year ago - Culver City, CA

I was making a left turn and both cars in drivable lanes were yielding to me. As I am passing through, this guy plows into the front end of my car because he was driving in the parked car lane!! In his statement to his insurance company, he and a "whitness" (who I did not even see at the scene) made false statements that he was driving in the second lane (not the parked car lane) and only one car (convenient that they both claimed it was a "white truck") was yielding to me. There are also two signs posted on the street directing you to merge from the lane he was in because it becomes a lane to park. I have a picture of my car post accident that shows the position of my car post accident. How strong do you think my case is?

Additional information

The picture shows that if he was driving in the second lane as he claims, my car would have either (a) been in a different position on the street post accident or (b) he would have hit my car in the rear and it would have been faced the other way.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. David Lee Fiol

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It will be a battle of witnesses, but your photos will help. The first question really is where and how you will fight this battle. First of all, notify your own insurance company about the accident if you have not already. If you were hurt, it pays to consult with a personal injury lawyer. If not, and this is just about fixing your car, then you can and should use your collision coverage if you have it, or if not, start negotiations with the insurance company for the other guy. If they are not reasonable then I suggest you go to small claims court and sue him. His "witness" might now want to show up and testify under penalty of perjury.

    If you have any way of finding witnesses to support your story you need to find them.

  2. Sean Michael Patrick

    Contributor Level 16

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It really depends on the amount of damages you are seeking. Often times small claims court can be very unfriendly to the Plaintiff with virtually no recourse.(e.g. only the defendant may appeal) it may be in your best interest to consult with a local personal injury attorney to assist you with your claim. Best of luck.

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which... more
  3. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Small claims courts are for... well, small claims... meaning small amount of dollars at stake... like ten G's or less... big claims court... also called superior court handles cases of bigger dollar amounts or with issues too complex for small claims... plus one big difference is that lawyers are not allowed to reoresent small claims parties in the courtroom. That said... if a car crash involves physical injury, it's probably a solid bet that it belongs in Superior Court.

    No one should handle any claim (involving a motor vehicle accident with bodily injury) against any insurance company without a lawyer. Claims should be handled by a lawyer - one who will be able to understand and explain the physical damages and injuries from accident. The victim of a car accident really needs to worry about one thing - getting better. That means attending doctor's appointments, attending physical therapy (if appropriate), and taking his or her medication. All of the rest can be handled by a personal injury attorney. We earn our fees (contingent by the way) by taking on the stress and hassle of fighting for money - I dare say some of us actually enjoy the fight, but I realize that most people do not enjoy conflict.

    … Since many of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take personal injury cases on a contingent basis, there really is nothing to fear in calling us.

    - 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

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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.
    ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito... more
  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Bottom line is you should have a car accident lawyer in your state review this before you take any action yourself.

  5. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . It is legal to drive in the parking lane, so long as it can be done with "reasonable" safety. The vehicle entering the roadway will generally get hit with some comparative in such a situation since they have the higher duty - entering onto a roadway.

  6. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The fact of the matter is that without more evidence, giving you my opinion based on the limited amount of information would simply be giving you a false sense of security. That being said, I am more willing to talk with you and help you develop your case. If you have any questions, I would love to assist you further. Best of luck.
    (310) 207-4030

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