What to do if I was in a car accident in which the driver was driving a rental car, and police reports states the other party was at fault but the other party disputes this?

Now they are disputing my claim and retained an attorney even though they had a stop sign and I was on a main road where there was no stop sign. Also, I was hit on the driver side towards the rear of my vehicle forcing me to run over a fire hydrant and into a fence in someone’s yard and they are accusing me of speeding. Do you believe there could be a case against me, and do you suggest I get an attorney to take over?

Asked on November 6, 2014 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) While it's not impossible you were at fault (e.g. say you were speeding, so as the other car proceeded to go through the stop sign, you zoomed in front of them too fast to do anything about it), from what you write, that is unlikely; it seems more likely that the other driver will be fault.

2) If the other side sues you, you should retain an attorney unless the amount they are suing for is so low that you'd be better off taking the chance of losing due to representing yourself, rather than paying an attorney's fees.

3) Similarly, if you want to try to receive compensation from the other driver, you can sue him, if you believe that he, not you, was at fault; if you can prove he was at fault in court, you will win. If you are suing for less than the maximum amount of your small claims court, you should act as your own lawyer (pro se) and file in small claims; if suing for more than that, you should probably retain an attorney to help you.

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