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Can I fight my car insurance company blaming me for a car accident that was not my fault?

Irvine, CA |

I was in a car accident. A Mustang driving in front of me, rear ended a SUV in front of him(without breaking). I then slammed on my breaks to avoid hitting the mustang, but did rear end him going under 15 mph. My car has no dent in front(i sent photos), and the mustang had a small dent in his license plate, however the front of his car was smashed in (to the point it was not driveable), from rear ending the suv. The suv's rear end was also very damaged.
The man driving the mustang was a lawyer, & he is now blaming me for the whole accident! He went to his mechanic and sent over "notes" stating that his car shows enough damage from the back to prove I was at fault for the entire accident? Cant my ins. fight this? Shouldnt they have a 3rd party evaluate his car? Should I hire a lawyer?

My insurance company said they are going to agree with the notes sent over by the mechanic. They are going to find me at fault. They said they are "protecting me" by being held liable rather than face a lawsuit? The photos speak for themself, as there is NO WAY my car could have caused the damage it did to the two other cars. I just dont know what to do now?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. If you believe your insurance company is not properly investigating, you should hire counsel to represent you. Although counsel for the insurance company will likely be hired for you if this matter goes into litigation, it can sometimes be unclear where the attorney's primary interests are - protect the client or the insurance company?

    But to answer your question, your insurance should absolutely fight this, especially if the facts are what you allege they are. For now, get copies of any police reports and speak with the adjuster handling the claim regarding the status of the case. Your insurance company is probably in the process of investigating. If the insurance still claims it's your fault down the line, get your own counsel to fight it if your exposure is high.

    Side note: Have you interviewed the driver of the SUV to see if they can recall getting hit twice?

  2. The facts of the case are in dispute. However, in most rear-end accident cases, the vehicle in the rear is deemed to be a liable party. The issue would be dependent on the actual sequence of events. You may have partial liability for the second impact of the first vehicle and you also may have partial liability for the impact to the vehicle in front of yours.

  3. You are at fault for rear ending the Mustang. However your insurance carrier should defend you against the claim of the SUV. Check with your insurance carrier for the proper appeal process. the facts you describe regarding the various vehicle damage strongly support your version.

  4. As the car accident attorneys have explained, the fact of the matter is that you are liable for hitting the car in front of you. Consult with a motor vehicle accident lawyer if you believe otherwise. Best of luck.

  5. while there may be some "comparative negligence" on your part, the mustang operator clearly shares in that fault. Depending on the laws of your state will determine how much your insurer has to contribute to the accident. Your insurer absolutely can and should fight this. I would tell them you are ONLY responsible for the damage to the rear of the mustang and a percentage of the front damage. If either of the drivers (or passengers) of the vehicles in front of you bring a lawsuit against you, your insurance company will bring in an attorney to defend you. Keep in contact with your insurance adjuster. Great question, we see this type of thing quite often, actually.

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