On a 2 lane roadway (both lanes going same way, lanes separated by a dashed line), I sat at a red light beside a double parked vehicle with its hazards on. I had my signal on to turn right, however as the light changed the double parked car proceeded to turn left into my right side, as I turned right.
The vehicle hit my mirror, however no damage was incurred on my vehicle. The driver filed a claim. Who is at fault here?
From the brief loss facts here, it would appear the vehicle that was parked would have had the affirmative duty to yield the right of way to you.
However, assessing liability in general would take much more information than is posted on this question (there are so many factors involved such as speed, exact points of impact, whether there were any independent witnesses, what ALL parties are testifying to, etc.). Liability can never really be determined based on only one party’s version of what occurred. The other party or parties may have a completely different version of the accident from yours, which will complicate the liability decision without any independent witnesses in your favor.
If the other insurance company is not accepting liability, you should use your own collision coverage and let your own insurance carrier fight it out with the other person’s carrier. Even if the police came to the scene, investigated and cited either driver, a citation is not actually proof of liability ultimately, anyway, as that would be assessed in a civil trial, not a traffic court trial (you or the other driver could be found guilty of the traffic violation and then be assessed with no liability in a civil trial).
However, having said all that, 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 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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I cocur with Attorney McGowan above.
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.
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