How can I defend that I am innocent in the cause of an accident that was not entirely my fault?

I accidentally ran a stop sign that was covered by a tree and it caused an car
accident. No one was injured but my car was totaled and the other driver’s car
was damaged, but usable. At the time, I filed a claim with my insurance but they
said they will not cover me due to insufficient payment, which I was not aware
of. So I am in a predicament, the driver has his company trying to contact me
demanding information and payment. I do not believe I should be charged for all
the damages because of such a dangerous intersection that had no indication of a
4-way stop.

Asked on August 29, 2017 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if you ran a stop sign, you are essentially at fault by definition: you kept going when you legally should not have, and ignored a traffic control signal/sign. If you are sued, you will almost certainly lose on that basis; you may wish to try to negotiate paying a smaller amount and/or paying over time to settle the case. The other side may well be wiling to agree to this, to avoid the cost and potentially lengthy delays involved in a lawsuit.

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