My son was in a car accident. It was rush hour, raining, and he was driving straight in the left lane at or below the speed limit. As he approached an intersection, the light turned yellow. He thought if he tried to stop he would've skidded and probably entered the intersection anyway so he went through the yellow. A girl turned left in front of him and they collided. He had damage to the front of his car and she had damage to her front and front right of her car (all in front of the right passenger side tire). She spun around and tapped the car waiting to make a left behind her. Air bags went off in both my sons car and hers. All three vehicles stated light was yellow. Officer at scene gave her a ticket for failure to yield right of way and named her as sole responsible. Our car is totaled. Her insurance found out I only had liability so they came back and said she was only 60% at fault and that he did not maintain a proper lookout. Should I take them to arbitration to try to reclaim the full 100% or atleast higher than 60%? If I settle for the 60% or anything below 100% can they come back at some later time and come after me/my son personally for any damages or medical?
You definitely need to get an experienced lawyer that handles auto accidents. If they will only acknowledge 60% of the responsibility for the accident and you only receive 60% of the compensation on the property damage, they will most likely try to pay your son only 60% of the value of his personal injuries. I would call an attorney today to speak with them regarding your options.
Your insurance company should defend you. S.C. is a comparative negligence state, meaning that the party at fault for more than 50% is responsible for 100%. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Dr. Michael G. Sribnick, Esq. personal injury attorney with offices in Charleston and Columbia, S.C.
Michael G. Sribnick, M.D., J.D., LLC
The answer to this question does not establish an attorney/client relationship nor does it constitute legal advice.
The attorneys in this forum will always try to give you the best information possible given the facts that are outlaid. However, probably 99% of the time, the main theme you will see in any answer is to obtain whatever medical treatment you need for your injuries and then to consult with an attorney, as there is no possible way that any attorney in this forum, based on the limited amount of facts that can be given, can address the issues in full. I’m not saying that all insurance companies are going to try to cheat you.
I handled lawsuits as an insurance adjuster for thirty-three (33) years for three (3) of the larger insurance companies in the U.S. Those companies were always fair and came up with a fair and reasonable settlement range for injury cases. However, what you have to understand is that even the most reasonable insurance carriers are going to offer you the lower end of what they consider a reasonable settlement range and try to get you to take it. The less than reasonable insurance companies will not be as kind as some of the larger companies out there.
Your best bet is to 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 coverages available to you. 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.
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