Yes, you can bring an action against the owner/operator of the other vehicle for property damage. If this is a small claims matter, so much the better. If not and you have to file in Civil, Queens you will have to weigh the cost of bringing the action with the amount at issue. It may not be worth the time and expense involved. The better option may be to have your carrier pay for the damage and let them bring an action against the other carrier. If you truly are fault free, let your insurance company worry about proving it.
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Yes, you can pursue the claim. It sounds as though the insurance carrier may be trying to say you have enough time to avoid the collision even though their driver failed to yield the right of way when making a left turn. This is a fact issue and is determined after comparing your actions at the time the other driver made the left turn with that of a reasonable, prudent person. If you had time to slow down or you were speeding, these facts will not favor you and you may have some percentage of fault attributed to you.
If the car is totaled and worth a significant amount of money, you may want to discuss the circumstances with an attorney. Losing out on 35% of $30,000-$40,000 (for example) is something I would find unacceptable especially if I took every reasonable action and did nothing to contribute to causing the wreck. If you or your passengers were injured, you definitely need to speak with attorney about the insurance company's failure to accept complete, 100% liability.
If your car's damage is low or the car (if totaled) is not worth much, that is when the idea of pursuing a small claims court action would come into play.
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The answer to your specific question is "No you may not sue the insurance company." You may, however, sue the driver of the car, who will be represented by the insurance company, and if everything goes your way, you may get 100% of the liability. Generally, there is some fault attributed to the car that is going straight ahead if there is a traffic signal (was there one?) If its small claims, you have nothing to lose. If its not, you'll have attorneys fees.
If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com
Your claim most likely would need to be filed against the adverse driver in the form of a suit alleging their negligent driving resulting in your damages.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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