If I am involved in an accident involving a farm tractor pulling a combine it hit me with the combine, who is at fault?

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If I am involved in an accident involving a farm tractor pulling a combine it hit me with the combine, who is at fault?

I was driving on a 2 lane road when I came around a turn. A tractor pulling a combine pulled out of a driveway on the other side of the road and hit me with the combine. The driver said I hit him but it was impossible for me to hit him. Now his insurer does not want to pay. What should I do?

Asked on August 9, 2017 under Accident Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Do you have collision coverage, so that your own insurer will pay you for the damage to your vehicle? Then let your insurer compensate you--that's what you buy insurance for. 
If you don't have collision coverage, you can sue the tractor driver, and also the tractor owner (if that is not the same person, since a vehicle owner is liable when his/her driver is liable) for the damage to your car. To get compensation, you'd have to prove in court, by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that it is "more likely than not") that the tractor driver was at fault in causing the accident. You can use your testimony, any police/accident reports, police officer testimony, etc. If you can prove this, you can get a court order requiring the driver and/or owner to pay, at which time their insurer should pay you. The thing is, you must prove their fault to get compensation from them, which is why if you have collision coverage, just take the money your own insurer gives you without having to sue.
If you are being sued, you have liability insurance (we assume), so let the insurer deal with the situation.


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