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Just few months back I was involved in a auto collision with a motorcyclist in a T-intersection. I was making a left turn off a south-bound single lane street.
Heavy traffic in both directions. N/bound car had stopped to let me pass, thus stopping the traffic behind it as it was also on a single lane street.
As I was completing my left turn a motorcyclist crashed into the back right passenger door of my car. He had been passing north/bound traffic on the right side. Police report was filed and the biker was deemed to cause the collision by passing unsafely on the right in a single lane (violation#21755).
Minimal damage was sustained by my car, but the biker had slight personal injury. Claims were filed and now both insurance companies are stating that they find the accident to be 50/50.
I want to know what my options are at this point? Can I reject 50/50 and not be deemed “unreasonable” by my insurance company and later face the risk of non-representation?
There was a witness present at the scene who claims that the biker was passing on the right but believes that I had seen him coming up in an intersection before I made my left turn, witness did not tell this to the officer at the scene because its not in the police report, but had told this to the claim adjusters.
Do motorcyclist get treated differently in such cases???? I don’t see how I could have done anything to avoid an accident on my part and don’t want to damage my otherwise spotless driving record…..
Please advise if you can! Thank You.
I am sorry to hear this is your case.
You seem to have three different issues. 1. can you dispute the decision? 2. The effect on your driving record? 3. are bikers treated differently on this type of case? I will address each single one of them here.
1. Can you dispute the decision? Probably not. In the insurance world, you sign a policy (a written contract). There, you have most likely have in your policy the following clause http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/Right-of-Settlement.html There you give away the power to the insurance company to settle as they please.
Now, this is highly unfair. They are supposed to defend you interest but somehow they can turn around and settle against you? That is correct, however, you must remember that in the "legal climate" things are not what actually happened, but what you can prove happened. If the insurance company look at all evidence (damages, diagrams, statements, police reports, rules of the road etc.) and they believe that they would have a hard time convincing a jury, they would settle on the spot.
2. The effect on your driving record is somewhat different. Insurance company will count you at fault for this accident. This might have an impact in your monthly bill. However, insurance is a private system.
This means that they have no bearing over a court or a judge, or your driving record at the DMV office, this means that your police record is still claim. If the police officer things you are not at fault, then you can argue that you were not. Note, when you go to another insurance company, the can (probably will) pull your claim history at other insurance companies and see that you were tagged for this accident. This will probably increase your rates there.
3. Are bikers treated differently? Yes. Why? as I explained in 1. the insurance company will have to look at all factors in your favor and against you. The fact that you have a vehicle v. bike collision will put any jury more in favor of the biker.
The plaintiff will argue that this poor bikes had no protection and her injuries were much worse that yours. This is also unfair, but you must look at all facts in the eyes of an impartial jury. So, adjusters must take into account that fact.
I hope this helps and clear up some questions.
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