How do i prove to my car insurance company I am not at fault?

Asked over 1 year ago - Portage, MI

I hit the median trying to avoid a car that was parked sideways through the interstate with no lights or reflectors. The car must have been in an accident prior. The owner of the vehicle did not call 911and left the scene. My car was totaled. I was not given a ticket, however, my insurance company is claiming it an "at fault" accident on my insurance record. My insurance premium has gone up quite a bit. I need to prove to my insurance company that the car parked in the interstate is the one that caused the accident.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Jeffrey Ira Schwimmer

    Contributor Level 19

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can try to retain an attorney to attempt to force your insurance company to reconsider its evaluation and raise in premiums but, to be frank, your chances of success are not very good. Every driver has the obligation to "see what there was to be seen". Even if the owner/driver of the disabled vehicle should have/ could have, left it elsewhere (unlikely - otherwise it would not have been considered disabled), there is the presumption of negligence is against you in at least sharing blame for the collision into the median, for not seeing taht care in sufficient time to safely avoid it. It can also be said "you had the last clear chance" to avoid the accident but failed to do so. You essentially had a one car accident, which is almost always viewed negatively against the driver of that car. Parenthetically, if you have a clean record for 12-24 months following the premium raise, it can often lead to a re-evaluation and a lowering of the premium. Good luck.

  2. Steven M. Gursten

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You raise two distinct issues, unfortunately. I have handled many similar cases, and the harms caused especially by trucks on dark roads without conspicuity markings and reflector tape can be catastrophic. These cases are usually always reserved at or near 0 at first, for the same reason you mention - the initial presumption for most people, and definitely most insurance companies is that a person who drives into such an object is primarily at fault. With a good human factors expert you can prove these cases are more akin to hidden booby traps, and the time-speed-distance of a car moving at night makes these essentially unavoidable.
    Which brings me to your main problem from your question- your fault has nothing to do with your insurance company's decision to raise your rates. An insurance company can raise your rates for any reason at all, or they do not even have to give a reason. Think of it as a classic contract, they "offer" you insurance, and you can choose whether to "accept" it or not by shopping insurance with a new company if you don't like the rate they are offering you.
    So, from experience, you are proceeding entirely logically by thinking that if you can prove to your insurance company that you are not at fault, it may lower your rates, but this is in an illogical world where even if you prove it in this crash, it probably won't have much effect in their rate increase.

  3. Daniel J. Melican

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hello,
    Was this accident at night in an area of the freeway without lights? Perhaps you could provide the police report to the insurance company.

    Always consult an attorney IMMEDIATELY as there are time limitations on filing a lawsuit.
  4. Matthew C Simon

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . For insurance purposes, there is probably an Appeal process. You should look into that and possibly hire an attorney to help you, if it is cost effecient. Act quickly. Often you only have 10, 20 or 30 days to appeal. Good luck!

    The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your insurance company probably won't reduce your rates whether you prove this or not.

  6. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds as if you do not have a witness who saw the accident - or any other evidence of the existence of the other vehicle. Absent that type of evidence the insurance company is probably viewing this as a one car accident. Absent some sort of appeal process, but I doubt will be of assistance, I don't believe you will be able to reverse their liability decision. Sorry

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  7. Cristine Wasserman Rathe

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My father had the exact same thing happen to him back in 2005. If you want to contact me directly I can email you a complaint form for the State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth. I think this process still exists. Ultimately, I was able to get the insurance company to remove the fault assessment and ultimately his rates did go down. He quickly changed insurance carrier after this issue was resolved though. I would not recommend changing carriers though until you get the matter settled with your current carrier.

    Each employment situation has unique facts and circumstances. This means that information and advice cannot be... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

26,920 answers this week

3,069 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

26,920 answers this week

3,069 attorneys answering