Unable to prove fault in collision?

by Anonymous
(Chesnee, SC)

Long story short, a lady ran a red light. I hit my horn but she continued anyway and I caught her driver's side back end. She claimed that it was me who ran the red light and it was my fault. The police officers cited no-fault at the scene because they couldn't determine who was at fault.

Now, her insurance company is calling me because she wants my insurance company to pay for her damages. She claims now that she has a witness. I have one too and I provided pictures, which she didn't bother to do at the scene.

How do you think this will play out? How is fault determined in a situation like this? Is there a chance I will have to pay for her damages, even though she was actually the one who caused the accident? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Unable to prove fault in collision?":

Anonymous (Chesnee, SC):

In cases where police investigations fail to determine fault in a police report, a determination of fault normally reverts to the respective drivers' insurance companies. In your case, it is likely your insurance company's claims adjuster will investigate the facts of the collision.

In doing so, it is possible your insurance company's claims adjuster will speak with the other driver's insurance company's claims adjuster. You are correct in having provided photographs and a witness name. It's important to take car accident photos and collect evidence.

While you state you have done so, it is not clear whether you provided that information to your insurance company's claims adjuster, to the other driver's claims adjuster, or both.

South Carolina follows a "third party fault" system. Under this system the victim of car accident has three options.

First: File a property damage and/or personal injury claim with his or her own car insurance company. If that occurs, the victim's insurance company will likely seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurance company. This is called "Subrogation."

Second: File a property damage and/or personal injury claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Third: File a property damage and/or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This can be done with or without an attorney, depending upon the seriousness of the collision and severity of injuries (if applicable)

South Carolina law Title 38 Section 38-77-140 requires drivers carry the following minimum amount of insurance:

- Twenty-five thousand dollars because of bodily injury to one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit for one person;

- Fifty thousand dollars because of bodily injury to two or more persons in any one accident; and

- Twenty-five thousand dollars because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

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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