Collision at a 4-way stop sign...

by Sebastian
(San Leandro, CA, USA)

I was stopped at a 4-way corner stop sign going east. I wanted to turn right going south. I was waiting for a pedestrian to cross from east to west in a cross walk. The pedestrian finished crossing the street from east to west.

I went to turn right and as I turned I saw an SUV make a quick stop while making a left turn going from east to south.

I tried to stop but I had nowhere to go because of parked cars to my right. The SUV (a Honda Pilot) keep coming and hit the left front fender of my car. The driver of the Honda Pilot said he did not see me. He was watching the pedestrian cross the street.

Whose at fault in this situation, me or the other driver? How do I prove it? Is there anything I need to do to get him to pay for the damage to my car?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Collision at a 4-way stop sign...":

Sebastian (San Leandro, CA, USA):

Determining fault will be difficult. It appears both vehicles were in a legal turn in an attempt to head south. In most cases, where both drivers are making legal turns, it is usually the driver who begins the turn after the first vehicle who is liable.

Presuming you had already turned, and as you did the Honda followed, you should be the victim in this case.

In your facts you didn't mention whether the damage to your car was in the rear or front left fender. If the Honda struck you in your front fender determining fault will become quite difficult, as it would appear both vehicles entered the same space at the same time.

If though, the Honda struck you in your rear left fender, it would appear the Honda entered the space behind you. In this case, the driver of the Honda may be liable for "failing to yield."

Hopefully, there's a police report. If so, it's important to look at the report to see the responding officer's opinion of fault. A police report is strong evidence in an accident case, and is normally heavily relied upon by insurance claims adjusters.

If the police did not respond, then you will have to leave the matter up to your insurance company. They will investigate the facts and determine if they believe you were at fault, or if you were victim.

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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