Driver turns right on red, hits me, so why does the police office put any of the blame one me?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 20, 2012

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Insurance Question from Peace Haven Estates, NC

Asked on 09/20/2012

Driver turns right on red, hits me, so why does the police office put any of the blame one me? I was in an accident on the 18th. I was making a left turn and had the green arrow signal. The other driver had the red light. As I turned he hit me in the passenger side door. He got out, apologized for not seeing me. I assumed he would be liable. However, the officer said I contributed because of inattention! How is that so? I was concentrating on turning in my lane. The officer interviewed me all of two minutes, but more for the other driver. Not once did he as me if I could have avoided the accident. Should I have swerved into the other lane and let another driver hit me, slam on brakes?

Answer given on September 23, 2012

When you have an auto accident and the police come out, their opinion of the cause of loss is just that, an opinion. Since you had the green light for turning, you would presume that you have the right of way.I recommend that you file a claim with your insurance company. They will pay for your damages to your car, less the deductible, and will then work with the other insurance company to try to recover their payment. If your insurance company is successful you will get all of your deductible back.You can also file a claim with the other insurance company. They may be willing to accept full liability and pay for all of your damages. You would then not have to pay your deductible. However, if they decline liability you can still go back to your insurance company and let them work it out with the other insurance company.Both insurance companies will review the police report and they may take the officer’s opinion or not.

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