In an almost empty road, where not many people walk, my father had an accident.

The traffic light was red, and soon after it went green, he started moving. However another old man, moved as well, ending up in a crash.

Now these informations are from my father, and I'm predisposed in believing him. However, even so, assuming my father is correct in this case.

My father has been telling them that he was stopped, and when the green light came, after he moved, another car moved as well and crashed to him.

The old man is telling the exact opposite.

The chance is that the old man didn't see the red light for him, and just went on. He believes he is right, and so do we.

There wasn't anyone near by, so no witnesses.

How do I "get justice"? What are my options?

Edit: The man was lying clearly... I went and saw him, I'm pretty sure the cops know as well... But, because there were no witnesses, little could be done. he was so bad at covering up his lies, if his son hadn't come, he might even had confessed. Also the court costs more than fixing the car...


As far as the law is concerned, there are two kinds of "justice" at stake here. One would be legally punishing a wrong-doer, and the other would be compensating the victim for their losses. Regarding the former, if the act is sufficiently wrongful (in the judgment of the police / prosecutor) and the evidence of guilt is clear enough, the wrong-doer might be punished, either given a ticket, or prosecuted in the event of a serious enough wrong. That seems clearly impossible.

Compensation for loss can come from two sources. One is the victim's own insurance. This assumes that the victim has comprehensive coverage on the vehicle (as opposed to just liability). If there is such coverage, the insurance company is obligated to pay for the lass (subject to whatever limits there are by law and under the policy).

If there is no comprehensive coverage, then the compensation has to come from the wrong-doer, who we assume has liability insurance but might not. The insurance company basically indemnifies the wrong-doer against his losses due to liability. They might have a lower bar for paying victims without hassle (avoiding the expense of a lawsuit). Let us assume that the wrong-doer has no insurance, which means that the matter has to go to court.

What then has to be established is who is at fault. That will be decided by an objective third party, either a judge or a jury, who will evaluate the evidence. It then comes down to determining which story is more plausible, given the evidence. Non-party eye-witness is apparently not available, and it is unlikely that circumstantial evidence would show anything, assuming there is no intersection camera. So the fact-finder would have to judge the testimony of the two parties to decide who is more believable. If it is clear that the other person is lying, then you (your father) could present the evidence that makes it clear about the lie. There is some difference between jurisdictions regarding how convincing the evidence of wrong-doing has to be. In addition, states differ regarding comparative liability: the amount of any award might be related to the degree of fault of the two parties (e.g. under the circumstances, could your father have avoided the accident even if he had a green light). Being at all at fault is bad for the victim in a pure contributory negligence state (Alabama, DC, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia). At the other end is pure comparative fault, which says that even if a person is mostly at fault, they can recover a portion of their loss (the part that they are not responsible for). Most states are somewhere in the middle.

Small claims court is the cheapest way to sue a person for property damage, assuming no injury. There is no free way to sue a person.

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