On 12/24/19, a driver in front of me reversed back quickly and hit my car while we were both lining up in front of a traffic light waiting for it to turn green. The driver didn't see me behind him while reversing back and damaged my car. We didn't make a police report but we did exchange some information. I filed a claim with his insurance, State Farm, but they are having trouble establishing liability as their insured doesn't answer their calls. The apartment complex we were driving out from confirmed they don't have footage or security cameras. I made a police report today. 01/02/20, that has not been completed yet. I also live in Dallas and the incident occurred in Austin.
What are my options? Do the traffic lights have cameras installed in them that can prove my claim?
Fill in the police report with any information you received from the other party and take it to the police immediately. Report this to your insurance carrier right away as this is a duty you must perform to assure that your insurance carrier is aware of the accident. If you were injured, contact a local area Pesonal Injury attorney. A PI attorney often offers a free initial consultation.
Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in 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. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.
If the other person’s insurance company is denying liability or has not yet accepted full liability or has not paid you an amount that would make you whole after the accident in a timely manner, your options are as follows:
1. Make sure you obtain a copy of the police report and if you have your own collision coverage on your auto policy, you can use it, pay your deductible, and let your insurance company fight it out with the other person’s insurance company. That’s the reason you pay insurance premiums. Let your insurance company earn its keep. This would be the path of least resistance.
2. If you don’t want to use your insurance or don’t have any collision coverage, you can file a small claims lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties (the driver and the owner if they are different people).
3. If the other party’s insurance company appears to be unreasonable in its denial or delay, you can make a formal complaint with your state’s Insurance Commissioner’s Office. Go online to find out how to do so in your state.
4. Lastly, but actually most importantly, if you were injured in the accident, I would contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible before talking to the insurance companies. You may have some coverage on your policy that will pay for medical bills or have Uninsured Motorist coverage as well. Your attorney will investigate all avenues of applicable coverage for you. You can use the "Find a Lawyer" link at the top of this page for the 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.
Please do not message me for further advice or call my former law firm if you have any further questions. If you are in need of an attorney to assist you, please search for another attorney in the jurisdiction involved in your case, as I am now retired, and my former law firm is no longer handling these types of cases. I am active on AVVO and answer questions only as a public service at this point.
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