Can't resolve claim because police reports contradict each other...

by Chris
(Sunnyvale, CA)

I was riding around a right hand corner when a car coming the other way cut the corner short and hit me in my lane. CHP (California Highway Patrol) didn't look at a single piece of evidence, including my wrecked bike, before filling out a false report putting me at fault.

A supplemental CHP report proves this by contradicting the earlier report, and I was not cited. My injuries were relatively minor so no lawyers will take the case. I didn't have full coverage so I lost everything. What can I do here? How can I get the driver's insurance to take responsibility and pay for this accident? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Can't resolve claim because police reports contradict each other...":

Chris (Sunnyvale, CA):

While you don't mention it, we will presume you were riding a motorcycle at the tine of the collision. Here are the steps you can take in an effort to have your motorcycle repaired or replaced...

- Request copies of both police traffic accident reports. To do so you can either go in person to the Department of Public Safety Headquarters or request your report online.

You can also get more information about obtaining a police traffic accident report at the Sunnyvale Dept. of Public Records Unit here.

- If you haven't done so already, contact the other driver and ask for the driver's personal contact information and the name and contact information for the driver's insurance company.

- Contact the driver's insurance company and fie a claim for the property damage to your motorcycle.

- Speak with the claims adjuster assigned to the claim. Send the adjuster the police reports and 3 estimates for the repair of your motorcycle. If the motorcycle was totaled, then send 3 estimates for the purchase price of a new motorcycle. The adjuster will investigate your claim and decide whether or not the insurance company will pay the claim.

- If the adjuster denies the claim, you can file a claim with your own insurance company.

- If you don't have the appropriate coverage and still want to pursue the claim, you can do so by filing a small claims court lawsuit.

In California the jurisdictional (maximum amount) you can sue for is $10,000. For more information on how to file a small claims lawsuit in California see:
California Courts - Small Claims Information

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,

Judge Calisi

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