What can I do if the other party is faulting me 30% for an accident that was not my fault?

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What can I do if the other party is faulting me 30% for an accident that was not my fault?

I was in an auto accident last month. I was heading northbound on the west lane of the 2 lanes heading north. I did not change lanes. I was hit close to an intersection. I was hit on the driver’s side. I was T-boned. The other driver has lied to his insurance company and said I changed lanes, contributing to the accident. I did not. The police report stated that the other party did not see me. Now his insurance will only cover 70, however I feel that they should cover it all because it was all his fault. I did not change lanes. What can be done now, hire a lawyer? How can I fight this?

Asked on December 24, 2017 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You would sue the driver for the full amount of your loss or damages. Their insurer's determination is NOT a legally binding determination: it is only the insurer's opinion as to fault, and their offer of what they will voluntarily pay. (Any/all payments made without suing and winning in court are voluntary.) If you disagree, you have the right to sue the driver (you sue the at-fault driver, not his insurer). If you can prove in court, such as through your testimony, other witness testimony, the policy report and police officer testimony (you will have to subpoena the officer who filled out the report to appear in court; under the rules of evidence, you cannot submit a report created outside of court without having living testimony from the person who created it and who can be questioned about it), you can get a court judgment requiring the other driver to pay the full amount, at which point he and/or his insurer should pay for your full loss. 
Of course lawsuits cost time and money, especially if you hire an attorney, and you cannot recover your attorney fees in courts (each party has to pay its own lawyer fees). Think carefully about whether that extra 30% you want is worth the time and cost of litigation.


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