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Question
I was in a minor auto accident on Friday and I'm trying to igure out where liability will be decided. I was driving home from work on an extremely narrow residential road with vehicles parked both on driveways and on the street. The road is so narrow and packed with vehicles that are parked on the side that only one vehicle is able to move in either direction at a time. Toward the end of the road approaching my turn a vehicle was driving in front of me. This vehicle began to move toward the far right portion of the street. The vehicle was moving anywhere from 2-5 miles an hour ahead of me and breaking on the most far right portion of the road as if to be moving into a position to park. As only one vehicle can move on this road at a time I moved toward the left portion of the lane to pass and slowed my speed. As I moved toward the vehicle the vehicle suddenly turned to the left without signaling their intent and continued forward. I slammed both my breaks and emergency breaks and moved further to the left but was not able to stop the vehicle before my front passenger bumper impacted their rear drivers side door. I understand I was possibly at fault for lack of cleared distance but I also feel it was at least contributory due to the lack of turn signaling which I was pictures directly after the accident to prove. What do you think?

Answer
Daniel,

While the other driver should be ticketed for being a bozo for not using a turn signal, unfortunately that won't happen.

It is likely that the reason he pulled to the far right was in order to make a sharp left turn into a narrow driveway and needed all the room and angle he could get. The percentage of contributory negligence on the part of the other driver would probably be negligible and it is doubtful that it would change any liability on your part. As the driver behind, you have a greater burden to proceed with caution than the one in front.

Sorry ... but I think you're out of luck on this one.

Kevin Hromas
JD, EGA, RPA, PLCS, HCRI-R/C, CPIU, WINDŽ Umpire
Kevin Hromas & Associates
... A Division of US Insurance Information LLC
www.KevinHromas.com

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Kevin Hromas

Expertise

I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies.

Experience

After a 20 year career as a General Contractor, I was employed by Allstate Insurance as an adjuster in Texas, holding various postitions within the property claims department. After leaving Allstate, I specialized in handling losses associated with major catastrophes through-out the country. (Hurricanes Isabel, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc., hail storms, floods.) I am currently retained as an expert by multiple insurance defense firms in Texas for issues in litigation. I am also a certified Umpire for formal appraisals.

Organizations
Member - Society of Registered Professional Adjusters Fellow - Council on Litigation Management Member - Property and Casualty Association Member - Texas Independent Insurances Adjusters Association Member - National Association of independent Insurance Adjusters Member - Houston Claims Association

Publications
Claims Magazine (www.ClaimsMag.com and then search 'Kevin Hromas' for a full listing of articles and quotes.) www.ClaimsPages.com, www.ProAdjuster.org, www.KevinHromas.com

Education/Credentials
JD - University of Houston Law Center - 1992 BA - Southwest Texas State University - 1980 AA - South Plains College - 1977 PLCS - Personal Lines Coverage Specialist

Past/Present Clients
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, Fulbright & Jaworski (Law Firm), Bracket & Ellis (Law Firm) Thamm & O'Briant (Law Firm) Sheehy, Ware & Pappas (Law Firm) Walker, Wilcox and Matousek (Law Firm) Financial Guarantee Underwriters

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