Do I have legal grounds to sue for a deductible payment?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have legal grounds to sue for a deductible payment?

I had an accident with a guy who failed to stop at a stop sign. My car was

struck on the passenger’s side, creating considerable damage. The impact of the collision between the 2 cars caused my car to to slide in the opposite lane

where oncoming traffic was approaching. I attempted to back up out of the lane and stuck a pole causing damage to the back of my car. The insurance company found him liable for the front damage but found me liable for the rear,

therefore, I had to pay the required $500 deductible before I could retrieve

much car from the repair shop. I have tried contacting the man responsible for

the accident, however he will not return my phone calls. I believe he should be

responsible for paying the deductible, since he is the one that caused the

crash in the first place. Do I have enough legal grounds to take him to small claims court in order to get my $500 back?

Asked on September 19, 2018 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, you would most likely not win on the $500 for the rear damage. Had the collision itself forced your car into the pole, you would; but since you "attempted to back up . . . and struck a pole," from a legal point of view, it was not his fault. Rather, the fact that you car came to rest and then you moved it makes the resulting collision with a stationary object (the pole) your fault, not his. Since your actions intervene and break the chain of causation from the collision, he is not liable for the rear damage.

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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