What are my rights if I was involved in an auto accident where the driver of the other vehicle negligently changed lanes into the lane of travel that I was in?

To avoid a collision I swerved to the left and stuck the cable barrier totaling my vehicle and giving my passenger minor injuries. The other vehicle did not struck my vehicle but was sited with a ticket for unsafe lane change. The other driver at the time pulled over and admitted that he changed lanes forcing me off the freeway. But told his incurance company that he had nothing to do with my wreck causing them to deny my claim. The vehicle was only worth about 6 or 7 thousand dollars and my passenger only got a mild case of whiplash. Do I have any sort of case to try and sue them

Asked on February 6, 2013 under Accident Law, Washington


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since the other driver's insurance company denied the claim, your recourse is to sue the at-fault driver for negligence.  If the registered owner of the vehicle is someone other than the at-fault driver, the registered owner should also be named as a defendant in your lawsuit for negligence.  The registered owner will be named in the police report.  You can obtain the police report from the police department and use it as evidence against the at-fault party.  It will mention that the other driver was cited for unsafe lane change.  Your damages (the amount of monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the value of your car.

Since the insurance company is denying the claim, your injured passenger will also need to sue the at-fault driver and registered owner for negligence when your passenger completes his/her medical treatment.  Your passenger should obtain the medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Your passenger can recover compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and compensation for wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your passenger's injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

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