In a car accident with no injuries and no citations for failure to yield right of way in tennesee, am I liable for other vehicle damages?

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In a car accident with no injuries and no citations for failure to yield right of way in tennesee, am I liable for other vehicle damages?

Police said foreign student, that I have sponsored was at fault in accident for failing to yeild right of way at blinking red light(his way) ,blinking yellow the other, and he said he did not see any vehicles after stopping at night before pulling through intersection. There are NO citations and other party is seeking vehicle damages. We are from Pa. Are we obligated to pay? Perhaps the other car had NO lights on???

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A flashing red light is just like a stop sign.  One must come to a complete stop and make sure it is safe to proceed before entering the intersection.  If there was another vehicle coming, and your student did not see it, either he entered the intersection without coming to a complete stop, proceeded too soon, or the other vehicle was either speeding, had no lights on, or both.  I take it there were no witnesses.  Just because a citation was not issued, that doesn't mean fault will not be assigned to one party or the other by the insurance company, should a claim be made.  I don't see how you can prove speed or a lack of lights without witnesses, so it's one party's word against the other.  And since the other driver had the right of way, your student will likely be found liable.  That said, everything is negotiable.  If you are dealing with the other party directly without insurance, you can always offer to pay a portion of the damages.  If it's the insurance companies, they will be looking for 100% from you, but you can try offering less.  In the end, I think you (or your insurance) will wind up paying most if not all of the damages.  Sorry.


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