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Acdavis

Accident in parking lot...

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Hello everyone. This is my first accident with another driver. Only ever opened up claims on freak incidents like giant mats being kicked up on the highway and running into them type crazy stuff.

So this is the story. I just got into my car and went to back out of a parking space. I think immediately noticed through my back up camera that the guy to the right rear of my car on the other side of the lane put his car into reverse and began to back out. I stopped only being about half way out of my parking space. The guy reversing did not notice and then immediately ran into me. I was at a complete stop at the time when it happened. It only caused minor paint damage to the middle of my bumper while his rear right bumper was all scuffed up and bent out of place. We got out, took photos, exchanged information, and he admitted to me that he did not see me there. I called the police but they said in Pennsylvania that if no one is hurt and no car is disabled the police aren't required and they blew me off.

I called up my insurance company and provided photos and gave a statement to them and ignored the other guy's insurance company calls. Had my car checked out and it would be around 730 bucks to have the bumper repaired. Not sure how much it would cost to have the guy's car fixed but he probably won't bother because it was a 1996 Ford Explorer. The bumper damage he did to my car is probably worth more than that vehicle.

 

I just got a call from my insurance company and they say they want to do 70/30 with them being the majority liable despite the kid admitting he did not see me when backing up. Does this sound right? My insurance company is saying they are inclined to agree with this at this point unless I could get video proof or prove I was in complete control of the vehicle. I tried calling the place of business to determine if they had video cameras watching their parking lot and they said yes. Problem is for me I need a police report in order for them to give me the footage so I'm pretty SOL since I was blown off the day of the accident and didn't think to just drive down to the police barracks(state has jurisdiction) and had them do one there.

 

What was I suppose to do? Throw it into drive and move forward avoiding a driver who clearly was not looking behind him all within a few seconds?

 

I did provide additional details to me insurance company explaining that I was in control of my vehicle at the time hence why I was in a complete stop when he backed up into me. There was a good 2-3 seconds that the kid could have used to have looked through his mirrors and back up himself.

I do plan to contest the 70/30 when it should be more like 100% his fault unless someone else can better explain this situation to me better than I am understanding it. Thanks.

 

Edit: An update. My insurance company thought we were both backing out at the same time and they want to determine if I had "full control of the isle." Problem is I stopped half way out of my spot trying to avoid any accident but the guy kept on going into me. I suppose we were backing out relatively at the same time. I had started first because, and then he began to start so I stopped. He did not because he obviously did not see me there when he backed up.

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No witnesses. Two conflicting stories. Sorry, but that's how backing up in parking lot accidents go. More often than not it's 50/50.

 

If the other driver's insurance accepts 70% on the part of its driver, count your blessings.

 

You can try to convince your own liability claim rep to find you at zero fault but understand that your policy's insuring agreement gives your insurance company the right to settle as they see fit.

 

The alternative is for you to sue the other driver in small claims court and convince a judge to rule him 100% at fault.

 

 

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Well, my girlfriend was in the car when it happened. I did not consider using her as a witness, but would it help if I did?

I wasn't told what other statement the other driver gave other than he did admit to not seeing me. Not sure how I should be considered 30% let alone 50% liable when he can't even determine what I was doing since he did not see me in the first place.

Is it remotely a good idea to call the other driver directly and see if we can't come to some sort of settlement? I don't want to come off as intimidating over the whole thing since that could be perceived in such a fashion. This is in case I do choose to take this to small claims court. I think I have a pretty solid case if the driver is admitting to not see me while backing up.

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1 hour ago, Acdavis said:

Well, my girlfriend was in the car when it happened. I did not consider using her as a witness, but would it help if I did?

 

She's your girlfriend. Her testimony could easily be discounted as biased.

 

1 hour ago, Acdavis said:

I wasn't told what other statement the other driver gave other than he did admit to not seeing me. Not sure how I should be considered 30% let alone 50% liable when he can't even determine what I was doing since he did not see me in the first place.

 

Any number of reasons. One possibility - you placed yourself in a position where he couldn't see you, where he had no expectation that another car would be there, etc, etc, etc. Every driver doesn't want to be at fault. Your story is subjective, biased and self serving. Not saying you're a bad guy, just giving you the reality of these kinds of accidents.

 

1 hour ago, Acdavis said:

Is it remotely a good idea to call the other driver directly and see if we can't come to some sort of settlement?

 

Would you be offering to take less than 70% of your repair cost? 50%? 40%? Why would he talk to you at all if he's already mostly at fault? He has no incentive unless you are going to absolve him of fault and keep his insurance company out of it.

 

1 hour ago, Acdavis said:

I think I have a pretty solid case if the driver is admitting to not see me while backing up.

 

Will he admit to that in court? The burden is on you to present a prima facie (google it) case without him saying anything to help you.

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I get what your saying.

The only thing that could help me here is video footage from the grocery store. Problem is no police report = no footage. The store has no obligation to help me in any way shape or form.

Is there a way I can obtain still obtain this information? I've already called the local barracks and they said they can't do a police report over something that happened 23 days ago, but in PA there is a vehicle accident report which is through the DMV. Would this have any legal authority in assisting me in getting the grocery store to provide footage of the incident?

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A more important question I have since it determines the value in even pursuing the above choices is will any of this end up on a carfax report for my vehicle?
I'm more concerned the potential harm to the resale value than the 200 or so bucks I'll need to front for the repair. Most from what I see is that car insurance companies and collision repair shops will not post this kind of stuff anywhere and that only police reports and reporting to the DMV will end up on such reports.
Should I be concerned?

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The DMV report is certainly worth a try. So is heading down to the police station and asking to file a report.

 

If you report it to the DMV it will almost certainly be reported on CarFax.  There is also a chance that any repair you get done will be reported to CarFax because many body shops and service centers report to them.

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If the damage is $730, and they are attributing 30% to you, this fight is over $219.  Move on.  But if you insist, sue him in Small Claims court for the full value of your damages.  Bear the risk that the Small Claims judge will assess each of you at 50% fault.  Bring your photos, estimates for repair, and witness, and prove your case.

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17 hours ago, Acdavis said:

I just got a call from my insurance company and they say they want to do 70/30 with them being the majority liable despite the kid admitting he did not see me when backing up. Does this sound right?

 

Under the circumstances, it doesn't sound unreasonable.

 

 

17 hours ago, Acdavis said:

What was I suppose to do? Throw it into drive and move forward avoiding a driver who clearly was not looking behind him all within a few seconds?

 

If you had the ability to avoid the collision, yes, that's exactly what you should have done.  I think we've all had situations such as you described, and I've done exactly that.  I've also blasted my horn.

 

 

6 hours ago, Acdavis said:

Well, my girlfriend was in the car when it happened. I did not consider using her as a witness, but would it help if I did?

 

You don't decide to "use" her or not.  She is a witness.  Of course, unless she was looking behind the car, she probably doesn't have anything useful to offer.

 

 

4 hours ago, adjusterjack said:

The burden is on you to present a prima facie (google it) case without him saying anything to help you.

 

Well...first of all, the OP can testify regarding the other driver's admission.  The OP can also call the other driver as a witness as part of his/her case in chief.  As you mentioned, however, we can't know in advance exactly what the other driver would testify to.

 

 

4 hours ago, Acdavis said:

Problem is no police report = no footage. The store has no obligation to help me in any way shape or form.

 

Assuming any video footage hasn't already been deleted (after three weeks, there's a pretty good chance it has), you can obtain it without a police report if you sue and serve a subpoena.  One thing you ought to do is send the store a demand that any video footage be preserved in anticipation of litigation.

 

 

1 hour ago, HustleandJustice.com said:

If the damage is $730, and they are attributing 30% to you, this fight is over $219.  Move on.  But if you insist, sue him in Small Claims court for the full value of your damages.  Bear the risk that the Small Claims judge will assess each of you at 50% fault.  Bring your photos, estimates for repair, and witness, and prove your case.

 

I'm inclined to agree.

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Thanks for all the comments everyone they are helpful.

The only thing that helped me was my photos without them it would have been 50/50.

I am inclined to agree it's not worth 200 dollars to sue unless I have a legitimate case to go for a diminished value claim which is possible in my state.

It's over a paint job though and as other research indicates most insurance companies and repair shops do not report it to Carfax. Since it's through the insurance I assume the repair shop is looking to pretty much milk the total cost and I'm considering alternative methods such as finding a small shop and figuring out if they can't do the work for under 200. While the appraiser did mention it could be more due to possible damage to the foam behind the bumper but the guy hit me at like 1 mph and we just exchanged paint. A strip, and repaint and buff of the area is all that is really necessary to fix this.

I'd then pitch this to the other driver and just omit the insurance companies entirely from this. This way he won't pay for a larger deductible and I wouldn't have to pay for anything nor have to deal with insurance companies. 

Oh and yes, if this did end up in the court system I would have the other driver testify and try to make him eat his words for not being up front with his insurance company. I'm sure someone gave him advice to omit that when giving a statement to his insurance company which is a safe bet on his part. Integrity just gets you burned. Grinds my gears though but what can ya do?

My claims rep gave me the whole cold shoulder through the whole process. Didn't even bother to call me on the 15th or the day after when she spoke to the other insurance company despite needing additional information. Having the police blow me off as well. It really wasn't a big deal to me until things all unraveled in such a state that it is in now.

Lessons learned I suppose.

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