I was hit on my driver's side while making a left turn...

by Yaw
(Worcester, MA, U.S.A.)

I was driving in the left lane of a 2-lane road when I saw my bank coming up on the left side of the road. When I saw it, I put my blinker on and slowed down to prepare for a left turn. Seeing as traffic was clear, I decided to go.

Out of nowhere, I heard a loud horn and a Mercedes hit my driver's side while I was taking my left. My whole driver's side door is pretty roughed up. I didn't get a police report because the driver didn't have a license, and I was distraught since this was my first accident.

Who would be liable in this situation, and should I still seek a police report for my safety? I'm 19 years old so I'm nervous about my premiums skyrocketing. I just don't know what to do. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "I was hit on my driver's side while making a left turn...":

Yaw (Worcester, MA):

In most cases, a driver making a left turn from a roadway must yield to drivers already traveling on the roadway. Unfortunately, from the facts you present it appears you may be liable, as the Mercedes was driving straight along the roadway as you entered into your turn.

As you already know, Minnesota is a "No-Fault" insurance state. As a result, you and the other driver would normally turn to your own insurance companies to pay for any personal injuries. However, no-fault insurance doesn't apply to property damage. In that regard, the owner of the Mercedes will likely file a claim with your insurance company.

What is interesting is the driver of the Mercedes did not have a drivers license. While the driver didn't have a license, that does not preclude him or her from filing a property damage claim against your and your insurance company.

Contact your insurance company immediately and tell them about the accident. Be sure to tell them the other driver did not have a drivers license. Because the other driver did not have a license, there remains the possibility the driver may not file a property damage claim.

Nonetheless, you must report the accident. Reporting it will not make your premiums rise. They may rise if the driver files a property damage insurance claim, but that may not occur, especially since the other driver did not appear to want to have a police report made.

Contact your local police department and file an accident report. You must do this, especially as the the other driver may do the same. If you don't file one, the insurance company will likely rely only on what the Mercedes driver tells them. You want your own version of the incident on record.

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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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
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