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  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Denying Liability After Making a Statement Implicating Myself

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Colorado

    Hey,

    So on Saturday night, I was involved in a car accident. The details are as follows. I hope I can get the insurance company to investigate this, as I do not believe as I was at fault.

    To start, I pull up in a far left turn lane (Lane #1) behind another car at a green light, waiting to turn left. The car in front of me is pulled out significantly, with me being behind it. The light turns red, and the car in front of me completes his left turn. I think about putting my foot on the gas - and although I'm not sure if I actually pulled forward, I am suddenly in an accident. He was traveling in his #1 lane as well, so our lanes were separated by a thin median, although the left turn lane actually pulls out in front of the median.

    After trying to get my mind together in a state of complete shock, the other driver and I - both unhurt - notify the police. Before this, however, the other driver tells me "That was not your fault, it was that car that pulled out in front of me." After that, we did not talk to each other, and failed to exchange information (I am giving him my insurance info tomorrow).

    In any case, I tell the police I followed the car in front of me out into the intersection, and I am cited for failure to yield on a left turn. I also tell the lower of the two cops, "I am almost certain the other car ran a red light," because the car in front of me did not even start moving until the light was red. The cop's remark was just a wiseass "so you did too!," and the fact that I think the other driver ran a red light did not find its way onto the police report.

    The damage for me was on the front-left 3/4 of my car, and for the other driver it was on the other drivers side panel and two left doors. I think that he swerved to avoid hitting the car that pulled out in front of him, and smashed the side of his car into mine. Unfortunately, my child-hood induced tendencies of self-blame reared its ugly head and got him off the hook.

    Luckily, this happened close to where I work, and a lady that knows me from work waited for me to get back to work and told me what she saw, and that if I needed a witness, she was there for me. Although she could not answer specific questions like "Did he run a red light?" or "Did he swerve into me?", she said this:

    "You were sitting completely still in the left turn lane waiting to turn left and the other car came very, very fast through the intersection and struck you."

    I asked her again "Do you know if I was moving at all?" and she told me "I do not believe you were moving at all." She has said that she will help me out in any way she can.

    A few questions questions:

    1) Will the insurance company thoroughly investigate this, and will the witness helping me out matter? Or what about my claims that the other driver definitely ran the red light because he could not slow down in the sloppy conditions?

    2) Secondly, do you think that I should plead not guilty, or am I basically screwed for incriminating myself in the beginning?

    3) What kind of damage would the cars see if he swerved his left side into the front left side of my car? Since the damage, according to the police report, is across almost 3/4 of his car, this seems to me to be the more likely scenario to me.

    Thanks for any help! Hopefully this will all turn out okay.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Incriminated Myself, but New Evidence Suggests Otherwise

    I have some difficulty understanding the accident the way you described it.

    Now if I understand you, often, I come to an intersection where I will be going straight through, the light is in the process of going from red to green, so I slow down a bit, instead on coming to a stop, then, at the last moment, I see some people making a left coming in the opposite direction decides to make a left, and the light changed, and I wind up going too fast to stop completely.

    Now, if it was just that one car going through, I adjust my speed accordingly, and I would jist miss him. Where I almost get into accidents is someone tailgating this guy making the left, I thiink I'm driving slow enough to clear this first guy beating the red light, lo and behold, there's a second guy right behind him.

    Fortunately I haven't hit any one of those tailgators myself, but I've seen cases where people tailgating others making left when the light is changing, got hit, claiming after the accident "I was following the guy making the left and the light changed when I was following".

    That may be so, but it certainly doensn't look that way from someone coming the other way.

    If you were following close to someone when making the left, you were in the itnersection when the light is red, then you are mainly responsible for not yielding.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2010
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    3

    Default Re: Incriminated Myself, but New Evidence Suggests Otherwise

    Quote Quoting SChinFChin
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    I have some difficulty understanding the accident the way you described it.

    Now if I understand you, often, I come to an intersection where I will be going straight through, the light is in the process of going from red to green, so I slow down a bit, instead on coming to a stop, then, at the last moment, I see some people making a left coming in the opposite direction decides to make a left, and the light changed, and I wind up going too fast to stop completely.

    Now, if it was just that one car going through, I adjust my speed accordingly, and I would jist miss him. Where I almost get into accidents is someone tailgating this guy making the left, I thiink I'm driving slow enough to clear this first guy beating the red light, lo and behold, there's a second guy right behind him.

    Fortunately I haven't hit any one of those tailgators myself, but I've seen cases where people tailgating others making left when the light is changing, got hit, claiming after the accident "I was following the guy making the left and the light changed when I was following".

    That may be so, but it certainly doensn't look that way from someone coming the other way.

    If you were following close to someone when making the left, you were in the itnersection when the light is red, then you are mainly responsible for not yielding.
    I was flustered, and don't remember *exactly* what happened. But like I said, I did at least think about following the car in front of me, but by the time he even started to move the light was already red. Had the other driver not blown through a red-light, the car in front of me would have been involved in the accident. And also, the witness is saying I was completely still when I got hit.

    Furthermore, I could not have been following the car in front of me too close, as he completed his left turn and the car that hit me did not even catch *any* of the right side of my car.

    Remember, the car in front of me and I were *stopped* at a green light for some time waiting for traffic to clear. Then the light turned red, the car in front of me started to move, and I got hit.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Denying Liability After Making a Statement Implicating Myself

    If you're stunned, and not sure, you're not a very good witness for yourself.

    As I understand these types of accidents, it sounds like there was quite a bit of traffic coming the other way, no gaps, and the guy in front of you waited far too long, made the left just as the light is changing, hoping the traffic coming the oher way would stop, and you followed him. The car coming the other way figured it's only one guy trying to beat the light, but then here you are, right behind the first guy.

    There are quite a few intersections in my neighborhood that's like this, and often I'm the guy coming the other way. Every so often, I was in your position, behind an elderly lady too frightened to make a turn, until after the light changes, and the traffic coming the other way hopefully comes to a stop. If I follow her, got hit, then yeh, I failed to yield.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Denying Liability After Making a Statement Implicating Myself

    Quote Quoting SChinFChin
    View Post
    If you're stunned, and not sure, you're not a very good witness for yourself.

    As I understand these types of accidents, it sounds like there was quite a bit of traffic coming the other way, no gaps, and the guy in front of you waited far too long, made the left just as the light is changing, hoping the traffic coming the oher way would stop, and you followed him. The car coming the other way figured it's only one guy trying to beat the light, but then here you are, right behind the first guy.

    There are quite a few intersections in my neighborhood that's like this, and often I'm the guy coming the other way. Every so often, I was in your position, behind an elderly lady too frightened to make a turn, until after the light changes, and the traffic coming the other way hopefully comes to a stop. If I follow her, got hit, then yeh, I failed to yield.
    That's possible. I'm just saying, I don't remember ever pulling out, I have a witness that saw the whole thing saying I never moved, and it seems likely that the other driver could have pulled to the left to avoid the one car and smashed his left side into my vehicle.

    Unreasonable?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Denying Liability After Making a Statement Implicating Myself

    Quote Quoting Sunyata
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    That's possible. I'm just saying, I don't remember ever pulling out, I have a witness that saw the whole thing saying I never moved, and it seems likely that the other driver could have pulled to the left to avoid the one car and smashed his left side into my vehicle.

    Unreasonable?
    Ureasonable story?? Sounds kinda fishy.

    Looks like you said one thing to the police at the scene, now you're saying something else, and you got a witness thats got a third story.

    The driver who hiit you would obvuously be saying something else. As an outsider looking at it, 3 different stories on your side, it would appear, whether it's true or not, that you are trying to come up with some story to cover yourself.

    You said that "the light turns red", which to me means that even according to you, you made the turn after the light changed, against the light. In this version, you would be claiming that the person coming the other way didn't stop, and thus went against the light too. This is what the so called "wise ass" cop was pointing out to you.

    Sounds like you were in the intersection already, and if you weren't, the other car wouldn't have hit you.

    Doing what you did is dangerous. As I said, there were some intersections in my neighbohood where there is heavy traffic, and I did it myself. At one time, I also thought that when the light started changing on my side, from green to red, it also changes for the opposite direction as well, turning red for them simultaneously. Turns out not to be so.

    Some of these intersection had "delayed green" on the other side, allowing turns to be made in heavy traffic, while traffic going the other way (my direction) is stopped. That's why when I do what you do, I look to make sure the people going the other way is coming to a stop.

    I pull out far enough so the cross traffic won't cut me off, but on my side of the median to make sure traffic coming the other way wouldn't hit me. And if I had to give a story in an accident, I can say I'm already far into the intersection waiting to turn, but traffic was heavy going the other way.

    My suggestion is not to come up with so many versions of the story, as the more versions there are, the more unreasonable it starts to sound. Just leave it at "I stunned, and I don't remember what happend any more", and leave it at that.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Denying Liability After Making a Statement Implicating Myself

    You should be grateful the wiseass cop didn't write both of you a complaint charging you with running a
    traffic signal.

    My take is you are 75% at fault for the accident and the other driver being 25% at fault.

    More of the blame lies on you as you were the party making the turn.

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