Freeway closure. I was on right most lane. My lane coned off. Merged into lane to the left of me. Traffic stopped. Truck allowed me to merge. I was 80% into the lane. However, to prevent other cars from cutting in front, the truck continued to move forward until I was in his blind spot. I still could not move because of Freeway reopening lane by lane, traffic was stop and go. Truck forgot I was there and continued to inch forward. I did not notice how close he got. When I completed the merge, our vehicles collided. Accident would not have happened if truck had stayed put. CHP officer (not on scene) said without investigation, looks like I made unsafe lane chg. Turns out CHP not supp to comment on fault if not at scene. Other party running with that comment. What can I do?
You are correct. The CHP officer's conclusion regarding fault lacks foundation and would most likely be ruled as inadmissible hearsay. Moreover, the CHP officer is inevitably NOT qualified as an expert witness to testify as to fault.
Your post does not indicate the procedure posture you are currently in. What do you mean by "running with that comment"? Has a lawsuit been filed? Is this a small claims court case, or a limited jurisdiction case? If a lawsuit was filed, have you tendered your defense to your insurance carrier? Your insurance defense attorney will be able to deal with this.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
What are you talking about, CHP and all law enforcement usuallly makes a determination of fault in almost all accidents.
The report is inadmissible at trial, but the officer can be subpeoned, and he can be used as an accident reconstuctionist if he has been properly trained.
No attorney/client relationship is or shall be created by this response on Avvo to non-clients of The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez.
If you are hurt, seek the advice of an attorney for a no-obligation, no-cost consultation.
If your claim is merely for property damage, use your own no-fault coverage to repair your vehicle and ask your insurance company to fight for your deductible.
If you did not have insurance coverage for your own vehicle damage, you're in a pickle and the other driver and his insurer know it. It may be worth paying on an hourly basis for a consultation with live counsel who can help you with a "game plan" for your claim.
I wish you the best of luck.
The answer above is not legal advice, and I'm not your lawyer. At best, it's a hint in the right direction. Reliable legal advice comes from an attorney licensed in your state who has all the necessary information and time to form an opinion, and that usually requires an in-person consultation, which you can often obtain for free with no obligation. Don't be shy - attorneys are people, too - call one.
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