Semi Truck's Trailer Damaged My Car...

by Anny

I came to a 2 lane off ramp from the highway. A semi truck was in the left lane and I came to the right lane. The semi truck made a right hand turn 2 minutes after my coming to a stop. The truck driver made a right turn and the trailer scraped and damaged my car (<$3,000 depending on the transmission condition). Who's fault is this?

The police officer issued only an exchange of information. No official police report. He told me that "this is how things work, I write the exchange of information and your insurance companies figure it out."

When I asked what the police officer's perspective of the incident was, he said he would label it my fault. The driver did talk with the officer first before I did and I'm not sure what was said.

Could you please give me some information for this scenario? It would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Semi Truck's Trailer Damaged My Car...":

Anny (Florida):

Without a police report to assess fault, the investigation of the collision and determination of fault will be made by both insurance companies.

The driver of the semi will probably report the collision to his insurance company, and you should do the same. Whether he does or not, you definitely should. Once reported, your insurance company will assign a Claims Adjuster to the investigation of the collision.

As part of the investigation she will take your statement, and will contact the driver of the semi to attempt to take his statement as well. If he reported the collision to his insurance company the same process will take place with his insurance company's adjuster.

The only way you can attempt to influence the Claims Adjusters' decisions will be through your statement and the Adjusters’ investigation of the property damage. Once their investigations are completed the Adjusters will make their determination of culpability.

They can then do the following:

• They can agree to compromise the claim and both accept partial liability; or

• They can agree one of you was at fault and pay the claim accordingly;

• Or they can both disagree as to culpability (liability).

If they disagree, a lawsuit may follow. When it comes to property damage seldom do Adjusters disagree completely. Their jobs are to settle property damage claims, not to let them get to the lawsuit stage. Personal Injuries may be more seriously scrutinized, and as a result more of those claims proceed to trial.

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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Comments for Semi Truck's Trailer Damaged My Car...

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Semi Right-Hand Turns...
by: Anonymous

It's the semi's fault. Here in CA they are supposed to make the turn from the right lane and swing out wide to left lane (the road they are turning on).

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