I was in a car accident that was clearly the other party's fault. (He made an unprotected turn out of a parking lot into traffic, and tried to cut in front of me. I had no time to stop and we collided. The front of my car hit the driver's side front [near the headlight and tire] because he was only partially in my lane. Therefore there was no possible way for him to complete the turn. I slammed on the brakes and honked and tried to avoid his truck, but it was unavoidable. He admitted fault, and the officer who took the police report said that he was most likely at fault.) I was also injured and had to attend 2 doctor appointments and go to urgent care. (They determined that my knee has a severe bone and cartelidge contusion.) How can I prove I was not at fault?
First it is important to know who is placing half of the fault on you. If it is your own insurance company, the only importance is that they may raise your rates. This woul not stop you from proceeding with a clam agsinst the other diver throught her insurance company. Be prepared for the other driver's insurance company to rely upon the 50/50 allocaton of fault, especially if it is in the traffic collision report.
In these types of cases I usually inspect the scene as quickly as I can with an accident reconstruction expert or engineer. This is usually an option when the size of the case warrants the expense or the client contributes to the costs for this expert's expense.
When it comes time to present your case, either in a settlement demand, or in a court proceeding, have the factual information presented to rebut the adverse opinion that you had some part of the fault.
Fortunatley in California, we use a comparative fault system, rather thant he former contributory fault system. Fault is a sliding scale so any reocovery by the injured party is reduced by her portion of fault and does not act as a complete bar to the injured party seekng a recovery for damages.
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I agree with the previous response. However, if your medical treatment is limited to a couple (or even a few more) treatment sessions, retention of an accident scene reconstruction expert may not be practical from a cost point of view. That doesn't prevent you or the attorney from conducting a thorough invesitgation, including an analysis of point of impact, any skid marks, etc. If this matter proceeds to litigation, the facts will flushed out thoroughly through the depositions of the parties and witnesses. If there is negative information in the police report, keep in mind that police report is not evidence. The officer can be deposed and examined under oath regarding his report.
This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.
You will probably need to retain an attorney who will probbly retain an auto accident reconstruction expert. That expert will look at the daages to the vehicles and make some conclusions. Depending on witness statements , that might not be a necessity. You may be worrying a bit prematurely. File the claim.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.
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