At Fault for not Yielding the Right of Way?
(San Diego, CA)
I was waiting in the median for the traffic to clear so I could turn left into a business on the other side of the street. It did so I proceeded. I made it about halfway into the driveway when I saw a car speeding directly for me.
He hit me on the rear passenger side and bumper. The impact threw me into a pole on the property.
My car was totaled, it was only 2 years old. I had to get my auto insurance to pay for my vehicle, because I received a letter from the other person's insurance stating that I did not yield the right of way. I have a witness that agreed with me that the other driver was speeding when he hit me.
I went to the doctor right away and I have soft tissue damage. My neck and back are still killing me 4 weeks after the accident.
Am I really at fault in this accident even though the other driver was speeding? Can I pursue a bodily injury claim? If so, against whose insurance? Thank you for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "At Fault for not Yielding the Right of Way?":
Ginger (San Diego, CA):
If your collision was like the thousands of others which included property damage only, the police didn’t respond to the scene. As a result a police report wasn’t generated. The problem you seem to be running into is a common one.
Regrettably, the laws in most states require a person entering an intersection to yield to oncoming traffic, and not to enter the intersection until it is safe to do so. The driver entering an intersection must be sure before they turn there is no oncoming traffic coming from either lane.
The problem is the definition of “no oncoming traffic”. Often a person enters an intersection cautiously, and looks both ways to see if there are any vehicles coming. And often there are not; at least as far as the eye can see.
Many times oncoming vehicles are out of sight, but because of their excessive speed they only come into view when it's too late, and the other driver has already committed to the intersection and is turning.
That’s when collisions occur. This may have happened to you. After your collision the other driver’s insurance company investigated the case and probably determined exactly what we have just referred to, and that you were at fault.
There is little you can do to change the Claims Adjuster’s position. Your only recourse would be to file suit against the driver. To do so you would have to prepare a lawsuit, file it, and then have it served on the driver.
Your only other option would be to hire an Attorney. Attorneys fees can be very expensive, and may not guarantee any success. If you choose not to file suit, let your insurance company know about the collision. You really should have contacted them at the time of the collision, but it's not too late.
Let your insurance company fight the case for you. If they believe the other driver was at fault they may not agree to pay him any amount. They will do the fighting for you, including providing legal representation if necessary.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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