Location: New York
Thank you folks for taking a look at this thread. It is long, but I felt that detail was necessary to show the true extent of the circumstances. I look forward to your comments. The following may seem like the average 50/50 fault, but I ask you to consider the other factors in the case.Image of accident scene layout: Link To ImageDescription:
The intersection has stop lights for every direction of traffic.
I was on the main road (car marked: ME) going straight east bound on the map I made.
I had passed the light on green, which is of course... disputed by the other individual involved.
To my main road, there was a perpendicular road to my right. In this perpendicular road, there was a truck in the left lane (truck marked T) and a white sedan was in the right lane (white sedan marked X).
Before I passed the truck that was waiting for his/her red light in the left lane of the perpendicular road, I realized and saw simply by the extra set of tires that there was another vehicle to its right. I saw that it was inching forward and I dramatically decreased my speed fearing and sensing that the car may either make a right on red (which is legal on Long Island) or simply blow through the red light without taking any additional precaution.
My suspicion was correct and before I could make anymore substantial adjustments to my speed, the car leaped out onto my lane resulting in an accident. According to the police report, the driver was intending to turn left.
The front right of my vehicle was damaged, airbags were deployed, and the windshield was cracked on the right as a result.
As far as the other car is concerned, I am not sure about the damage of the other vehicle. I remained in my seat waiting for the officer. The driver of the vehicle is well enough to come out and yell at me for "running a red light." I am not personally injured, but I did not want to leave the vehicle at the moment in case something was horribly wrong with me.
I found this little tidbit about vehicle operation law in New York State:
§ 1163. Turning movements and required signals. (a) No person shall
turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper
position upon the roadway as required in section eleven hundred sixty,
or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway, or otherwise turn
a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway
unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety. No
person shall so turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate signal in
the manner hereinafter provided.
There were no witnesses and no tapes, so the light can be easily argued by both sides.My Reasoning:
However, since there was no clear way for him to go straight, his only options were to turn right, bear right, or turn left. Therefore, I feel that since the truck was creating an obvious obstruction for his view while it was stopped, he should have exercised more caution before entering the intersection on the main road. If he did not see me, he may not have been able to see any pedestrians that were crossing over from the left to the right of the truck he was next to or in the crosswalk which I had passed. This in my opinion is an example of the driver's carelessness for maintaining reasonable safety standards. I believe that he would have seen me if he was looking out for pedestrians and vehicles already in the intersection. I exercised caution and tried to mitigate the damage by lowering my speed before the accident.
My insurance company has stated that I am not at fault. I do not want my insurance company sued for something they are not responsible for.
Please offer some of your thoughts.