I had been traveling in the middle of three lanes on interstate 95 during my normal work commute home. I 95 is congested in the northern VA area so the fast lane is usually the slower lane to be in since the cars from the HOV lane merge into that lane when the HOV lane runs out. An out of state driver (NY) was in the fast lane but since it was at a slow moving pace (maybe 5-10 mph mixed with stop and go traffic) he attempted to switch into my lane, the middle passing lane. I had already been in this lane for approximately 7 miles. I get on I95 and immediately get into the middle lane from my work exit 8 mile before where this accident happened. The driver hits my car as he tries to enter my lane as I am driving straight inside my lane. His corner of his bumper underneath his front passenger headlight is damaged and my entire drivers side is dented and scraped. The driver pulls back into his lane and I signal for him to pull over. We exchange information and he offers me to file a hit and run claim I decline. Now he has told his insurance company a different story and they cannot pay for the claim since our stories do not match. I feel like the points of impact show fault on him.
Can you sue? In general, you can "sue" anyone and everyone you want in this country so long as you can afford the requisite filing fee. But the proper question you should ask is, “Should I sue?”
In addition, even if you have a viable court case, if you are asking whether you have a viable one that will sustain a Motion to Dismiss or a Motion for Summary Judgment, that is a question that no attorney in this forum will be able to answer with any degree of certainty, as in order to sustain your suit, you have to prove a valid cause of action and provide persuasive evidence as well regarding both liability and damages.
From your loss facts only, it appears that the other driver was at fault. However, if it comes down to a he-said-he-said situation, there is no telling how a small claims judge may rule and you may not prevail in court, or at least not get the full amount if you are found a certain percentage at fault.
You should simply allow your own insurance company to handle your claim under your collision coverage and let them conclude the liability investigation. If it believes it can prevail against the other party's insurance company, it will submit the claim to arbitration, which does not cost you anything, and await the outcome. If it prevails, you will get your deductible back. This is the path of least resistance for you and poses the least amount of time and money (filing a lawsuit is not free).
However, after having said all that, if you were injured in the accident, your best bet to obtain the maximum settlement amount in this case is to ensure you have completed the necessary medical treatment and consult with an attorney in your area to obtain a more specific answer and get all of your legal options before deciding what to do. The attorney will also investigate all available coverages to ensure you have the maximum amount of coverage available to you. You may have some additional coverages on your own auto policy that can assist you of which you may not have been aware. You can use the "Find a Lawyer" link at the top of this page for names of attorneys in your area. Most offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay anything up front.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline