My car was hit at a intersection. Witness claims on police report that my father ran a red light. Insurance denies claim.

Asked over 4 years ago - Rochester, NY

My father was involved in a collision at a intersection while driving straight with a car making a left turn from the opposite direction. Witness claims that my father ran a red light and that was put in the police report. My father didn't give a statement to the police because he doesn't speak English. The other person's insurance company denied my claim based only on the police report without taking a statement from my father nor investigating the intersection. I do believe that in this case they are making their decision in bad faith.

The lights at the intersection are such that if my father did indeed ran a red light, the other driver did so as well. What are my options in terms of making the insurance company pay this claim?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Stephen Boyd

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . If your father was seriously injured, any personal injury attorney will likely take up this issue as part of the case. If, as you say, the light must have been red for both drivers, you have a pretty good liability case.

    Remember that insurace companies exist to make profits. The more premiiums they accept and the more claims they deny, the more money they make. Logic sometimes plays very little role in their decision making.

    If the damage is 5,000.00 or less, you can take the other driver to small claims court in Rochester. Good luck.

  2. Clifford Douglas Gabel

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It's not bad faith if the insurance company can reasonably rely on the police report. You may disagree with the report, but that doesn't mean the insurance company has to. Bad faith is a very high standard and something that is often quite difficult to prove.

    Hopefully, the damage to your father's vehicle does not exceed the jurisdictional limit of Small Claims Court, usually $3,000 or $5,000, depending on where you can bring the case. If you can get into Small Claims Court, you should file suit there against the driver of the other vehicle, and tell the insurance company you are doing so. Get at least two estimates or one repair bill showing the damage to your dad's vehicle, and take photographs of the damage. Perhaps if the insurance company sees you are serious, it'll make an offer of settlement. If the offer is not satisfactory to you, then you may have no choice but to proceed to trial or arbitration in Small Claims Court.

    If your damage is in excess of the Small Claims Court jurisdictional limit, then you will have to bring a suit in the district court. There, the rules of evidence are similar to at the Supreme Court level, and you should probably consult a lawyer, as your failure to submit your evidence in admissible form could result in the dismissal of your case.

    Good luck.

  3. Jeffrey Michael Donato

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You should consult a Personal Injury Attorney in your area. Your father's claim (for personal injuries and or property damage) should be discussed in length. Most Personal Injury attorneys like myself will give a Free Initial Consultation. Your father may have the right to give a witness statement to add to the police report, and this may help with your father's claim. However, a claim is just that. A claim. Insurance companies frequently deny claims and that is where litigation (a law suit) may need to come in to play. That is why we have attorneys and the litigation process. I hope your father recovers quickly and the insurance company sees the error of its ways. Good luck.

    THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT IMPLY OR CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS IMPLIED OR CREATED BY RESPONDING OR FAILING TO RESPOND TO THIS RESPONSE. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE. FOR LEGAL ADVICE, YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.

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