Can I win in a small claims court with only a hit-and-run police report?

UPDATED: Nov 11, 2011

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UPDATED: Nov 11, 2011Fact Checked

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Can I win in a small claims court with only a hit-and-run police report?

I was rear-ended after making a U-turn with a protected green arrow light and the other party left the scene but was later identified by license plate #. They claimed they had a green light and I was in the wrong. Unfortunately, there were no witnesses, I only have liability, and the other insurance company will only pay for 30% of damages. It’s a classic he-said-she-said situation.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Accident Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you prevail in the small claims case you are writing about depends upon who the trier of fact believes. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving his or her claim by the preponderance of the evidence.

If you can prove the license plate number of the car that hit you, you may be able to establish the owner of the vehicle but may not establish who was driving. I would make sure you have the police officer who wrote the report about the accident attend the trial. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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