Can I win in a small claims court with only a hit-and-run police report?

I was rear-ended after making a U-turn with a protected green arrow light and the other party left the scene but was later identified by license plate #. They claimed they had a green light and I was in the wrong. Unfortunately, there were no witnesses, I only have liability, and the other insurance company will only pay for 30% of damages. It’s a classic he-said-she-said situation.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Accident Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you prevail in the small claims case you are writing about depends upon who the trier of fact believes. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving his or her claim by the preponderance of the evidence.

If you can prove the license plate number of the car that hit you, you may be able to establish the owner of the vehicle but may not establish who was driving. I would make sure you have the police officer who wrote the report about the accident attend the trial. Good luck.

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