Visitor Question

What can I do when the police couldn’t determine fault?

Submitted By: James (Morrisville, North Carolina)

I was stopped at a red light, waiting to continue straight down the street I was on. Across the intersection there was a man also at the red light, who was waiting to turn left. When my light turned green, I started driving. About halfway through the intersection, the guy coming from the opposite direction also started driving, turned left and hit my car on the front left side.

Police came out and couldn’t prove who was at fault. I ended up fixing my car through my insurance. The accident almost totaled the car with thousands of dollars worth of work done to it. What are my options at this point? I just bought the car less than a year ago and now I’m afraid the car is almost worthless.

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 James,

You insurance company is likely investigating the accident. If they conclude the other driver was at fault, they may decide to pursue a “subrogation” action. In car accidents, subrogation means an insurance company has the right to seek the amount of money they paid out to their insured from the at-fault driver.

In the event your insurance company subrogates against the other driver, you will be notified. If they recover the full amount of the claim, you will be reimbursed any money you had to pay out as your deductible for the accident.

If your insurance company decides not to subrogate against the other driver, you can pursue the driver yourself in small claims court. If you opt for this route and you prevail, it is likely the judge will award you an amount representing the fair market value of your car if it has been totaled, or the amount required to restore it to the condition it was prior to the accident.

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,

Published: October 19, 2017

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