How can I get a settlement for a car accident if I can't prove that it was the other party's fault? 18 Answers as of April 29, 2013

I was recently in a car accident and the other driver was at fault but I can't prove it. He states he had a red light when I know in fact I had a green arrow to turn. He ran that red light and therefore hit me and pinned me to a light pole. There were no witnesses, the city won't release the footage from the red light cameras at the intersection and right now it's my word against his.

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
You have to sue, and you have to try the case. That means, witnesses testifying to distances, speeds, who had the right of way, etc. You are not ENTITLED to a settlement. Just like anything else, it must be earned. You earn it by proving that your version of the incident is the most believable.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/29/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You can issue a subpoena for the camera. Get you a good lawyer if this is worth the fight.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 4/25/2013
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
In the situation you described, it is very difficult to prove that the other person was at-fault and that you were not. A disinterested witness is often very important to a liability decision in such a "he said/she said" situation. You may be able to get the other insurance company to accept up to 50% of the liability, but beyond that will be difficult. Consult with your insurance company and see if they can obtain the surveillance video at the intersection.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 4/25/2013
Law Office of Bradley S. Freedberg, PC | Bradley S. Freedberg
You will never get a settlement if you can't prove or convince of fault.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/25/2013
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
That is a difficult situation. I suggest that you file a lawsuit against the other driver and have your lawyer subpoena the video footage from the cameras.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/25/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It's your word against his. Your word is just as good of proof as his. Presuming you have collision coverage and no injuries, I would just make a collision claim with your insurance company and let them worry about getting their money back out of the other guy.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Retain an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    Some options you may consider are: 1. Sending a formal, written Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the city for the traffic cam footage, if it exists, of the minute before the crash up to and including the crash and the post-crash movement of the vehicles until they reached their point of rest;2. Another formal FOIA re: the traffic light timing @ the intersection in question, as this may shed light on who had what signal; 3. Hiring an accident reconstruction expert to review the above, along with pictures of the crash damage to both vehicles/estimates of the damage to both vehicles, in case the physical evidence allows a determination as to fault; and 4. Canvas the area to see if you can find a witness. Certainly options 1 and 2 are usually cost-effective; option 4 may require hiring an investigator if you want it done right and is semi-expensive; option 3 can be pretty expensive. If you choose any, keep in mind that you need to assess the likelihood of you making a recovery and the dollar range of same, in order to make a cost analysis of what, if anything, makes any sense to do. Of course, you can always go with your word against the other driver's, and depending on how each of you testifies + whatever facts are also available, you may win if your testimony is more believable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Lydy & Moan | C. Gary Wilson
    You could file suit and subpoena the red light footage, if it exists, and if it would be helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Robert Butwinick | Robert Butwinick
    Have you spoken with the police officer who responded to the scene - assuming one did? He/she may be willing to access the footage if you explain the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    You need a personal injury attorney, they receive nothing nothing unless you do so it will cost you 0 until the case settles , the attorney will get the footage from the city, also there are other ways to prove you was at fault here, but contact a good PI lawyer not just a lawyer, and stay away from the one's that are on TV all the time telling you how great they are, also stop talking to the insurance company until you speak to a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    If you cannot prove fault on the other party, then it is very unlikely you will be able to recovery anything from anyone for the accident. However, in these "he said, she said" incidents, you may be able to leverage a settlement, and in the end, a jury will need to determine who is telling the truth.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes, Inc.
    Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes, Inc. | Frank M. Nunes
    I can understand how frustrating this must be to know you did nothing wrong and the other driver won't fess up. When there is a disagreement over who is at fault for a collision, it is best to contact an attorney with experience in these types of cases. He or she can make a request for the video footage from the City. Most attorneys, like myself, offer free first meetings to go over the facts of a case. You have nothing to lose by contacting an experienced consumer attorney. At least you will know that you are doing something to work through this difficult time. You contact an attorney as soon as possible as many cities re-record over the video after a short amount of time. You also have to file a lawsuit against the at fault driver before the two year anniversary of the collision or your right to sue will be lost.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    If you were injured, it should be clear that you need an experienced personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Retain an attorney, bring a lawsuit, and discover through the discovery process copies of the tapes if they exist.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Law Office of Steve Leydiker
    Law Office of Steve Leydiker | Steve Leydiker
    You need to hire an attorney because the insurance company will never settle without proof of liability. An attorney would be able to subpoena the pictures once a lawsuit is filed. That being said, the insurance company will only pay for an actual injury, either to you personally or to your property. If you were injured, your need to substantiate that with medical records.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/25/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Well, since it is your burden of proof to prove that the other driver was at fault, I think you have problems. You may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney and discuss the facts of the accident with him (or her) and see if he (or she) believes they can be of assistance to you. Typically, personal injury attorneys all work on a contingent fee basis so it won't cost you anything for that consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/25/2013
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