What is the law if another car T-boned me but the other driver’s insurer says that I can be partially responsible because I did not use my horn to alert their insured?

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What is the law if another car T-boned me but the other driver’s insurer says that I can be partially responsible because I did not use my horn to alert their insured?

The other driver was heading towards me. In this right and legal? I was not quite up to the stop sign and they were making a wide right turn onto the road that I was on.

Asked on March 20, 2014 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The other driver is at fault in the accident.  It sounds like that driver's insurance company is trying to find some ridiculous reason for not paying the full amount of your claim. 

If the police report says the other driver is at fault, the other driver is at fault.  If the at-fault driver's insurance company does not settle the case with an amount that is acceptable to you, reject the settlement offer and sue the at-fault driver for negligence.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your car if you were not injured in the accident.  If you were injured in the accident, you have a separate personal injury claim which will include your medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss.  Obtain this information (medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss) after you have been released by the doctor upon completion of your medical treatment or upon being declared permanent and stationary by the doctor which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault driver's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers  If the case is NOT settled with the other driver's insurance carrier, file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.

If the case is NOT settled, you must file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party and registered owner of the vehicle if the registered owner is someone other than the at-fault driver prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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