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What constitutes liability and damages?

I was at a dead stop at the end of a freeway off ramp waiting for a car to pass so that I could make a right turn when I was rear ended. My BMW was pushed forward and blocked both lanes of the street ahead. The lady who hit me was in a Scion XB van .

Her insurance company is claiming that her car had a bent license plate. My car was totaled!! They are claiming that our car had previous damage and they are not liable. Our car was never in an accident and never had any kind of body work done to it.

To prove it we have:
1. a document from our car mechanic. He checks every car before working on it to see if it has damage and he documents it so that he isn't accused of any damage by a customer. Our car had the oil changed 2 months before the accident and it was checked - NO damage to car.

2. After the accident, we drove the car to our mechanic. He documented the damages and took pictures of the car. He kept the car there.

3. Once we hired an attorney they immediately had the car taken on a trailer to a car body repair shop for evaluation. He took pictures, evaluated the damage and said it was totaled.

4. Our attorney hired an engineer to assess the damage to the car and try to figure out how fast she was going when she hit me. He took pictures of the car and wrote up a report. He said that paint flecks were still hanging from the bent areas and much more.

5. We have pictures of the car after the accident.

6. Most importantly, Her insurance company did a check on our car which checked EVERYTHING AND EVERYPLACE about the car since it was made. it says that our car checks out and there was never a report of anything happening to it!

The only thing left is to have an engineer look at her care (if and when we gain access) to see if there was more damage than what she alleges.

The question is, how much proof do we need to have to prove that she is responsible for the damage to my car? Her insurance company (USAA) is refusing any liability or damages.

Beside the car being totaled I was injured badly and am dealing with all of that including an anurism behind my left eye, a fractured temple bone, a slipped disc into my spinal cord, a dislocated shoulder and much muscle and tissue damage.

I look forward to your reply!



Hello Dawn,

A car accident is a civil cause of action. Just like most civil causes of action, the burden is “more likely than not.”

You have to show by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that the other person caused the accident. In addition, you must also show by the same standard that the damages occurred the way you describe them.

Please see:

I hope this helps,

Good Luck

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