What steps need to be taken to dispute an insurance company’s determination of fault?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What steps need to be taken to dispute an insurance company’s determination of fault?

In a residential location, in front of my residence, while in process of turning left into driveway, opposing driver came from behind to hit my car on the driver’s side. Since people are often speeding on this street, traffic was checked, turn signal was on, traffic checked again before making the turn. There was no visible car in front or back. My front wheel appears to be locked into

position of making the turn. No visible injuries, so no police. However, pictures were taken. The other driver had a learner’s permit with a minor passenger. Additionally, we had the same insurer. She denied speeding and claimed that she didn’t see turn signal, nor did she slow for the car

obviously in the middle of the road turning into driveway.

Asked on May 1, 2019 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Procedurally, you would sue the other driver (since you deem her at fault), the car's owner (if not her), and her parent if she were a minor and the parent is not also the car's owner. (Owners of vehicles are liable for the accidents of those person who they let drive their cars; parents of minors are liable for their children's accidents.) That is how you bring the case to court for a court determination as to fault. Only a court can overrule the insurer's internal determination of fault and order payment. 
If we understand you correctly, there is no photographic evidence and no police report. Therefore, the only evidence appears to be testimonial: the testimony of you, of her, of her passenger, and of anyone else who happened to witness the accident. If you sue, the court will listen to the testimony, weigh the credibility of the witnesses, and decide fault. Note that as the one suing (the plaintiff), the "burden of proof" would be on you: you would have to prove your case by a "preponderance of the evidence" (or that it is more likely than not that it happened the way you say it did), and so you and any other witnesses you have must more believable or persuasive than the witnesses for the other side.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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