Visitor Question

How can I make the insurance adjuster understand it wasn’t my fault?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Minden, Louisiana)

I was headed west on a two lane road one evening, approaching a side road that intersected into the road I was on from the left. That road had a stop sign, but I did not. Suddenly, a car that was coming from that road turned left, pulling out quickly in front of me. He didn’t make it fully into the lane I was in, but he made it far enough to cause our vehicles to collide. The front drivers side of my vehicle and his back right bumper both have damage.

He was cited with a violation of not yielding to a stop sign. My airbags deployed and I was sent in an ambulance to the hospital. I have been going to a chiropractor since due to whiplash and back pain.

His insurance company is claiming the accident was equally each of our fault because I hit him in the back of his vehicle. I know the state of Louisiana has a law regarding fault when you hit someone from behind, but I had the right of way. How can I get them to realize that it was his actions that are to blame?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Let’s take a look at Louisiana’s Revised Statutes.

Section 32:81 (1) (A) ” Following Vehicles” reads:

“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

Section 32:123 (D) “Stop Signs and Yield Signs” reads in part:

“The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions, or shall stop if necessary……at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. Having slowed or stopped in this manner, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to…any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard.

To convince the insurance company to change its position will require you to show the other driver was more at fault than you. Based on the facts, the other driver clearly violated Section 32:123 (D). This is especially apparent as he appears to have struck the driver’s side of your vehicle. However, because your airbags inflated, it can be argued that you struck the other driver’s car.

Setting aside the airbag deployment, it can be legitimately argued the other driver was wholly at fault because there was never a time when you were actually following their vehicle.

You stated that he was cited for failing to yield to a stop sign, so I assume the police responded to the scene. If law enforcement was in fact dispatched, you can use the police accident report to support your position.

Speak with the claims adjuster and review the above sections of Louisiana laws. Obtain a copy of the accident report from the police department that responded and provide that to the adjuster also. If you have photographs of the damage, be sure to send them as well.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

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