They have damage all the way down their car because they did not stop immediately because of the speed they were going. My car has minor damage. The driver refused to give me their insurance info and would not wait for the police. They left the scene. Its been a week and now they have filed a claim against my insurance. Who is at fault? I have witnesses to the speeding and video footage since this happened where we both work. But my insurance says I am automatically at fault. I think they plan to accept liability as to not risk being sued I suppose. Should I hire a lawyer? The other driver does not have collision coverage and their car is only worth $2-3,000. While mine is worth $17-20,000 still and I have full coverage. Please help, I have not given a recorded statement yet!
So, I pay all this money for insurance and I just have to go with whatever decision they make, because I am sure they are really looking out for "my" best interests. That just seems wrong. The other driver deliberately left the scene because they could have been found at fault so now I just have to accept liability because they did not follow the rules. Would it be worth it to sue them for damages and the increase this will cost my rates?
Personal Injury Lawyer
Based on what you have said, both of you may have contributed to this incident. Anyone backing from a parking spot has the duty and obligation to check for any oncoming vehicles. Similarly, the adverse party has a duty not to be speeding through a parking lot. I suggest that you allow your insurance company to handle this matter. That is why you pay them a premium. Why should you have to consider hiring an attorney on your own to fight a property damage claim when you have paid for insurance. Your insurance company certainly can deny 100% liability and may claim that you were only partially responsible for causing the incident. Your insurance company would have the obligation of only paying for that portion of your liability.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Your insurance contract gives the insurance company the ability and right to allocate fault between the parties involved in the crash for the purpose of settling the claim. Your insurer should have requested a recorded statement to verify your version of the facts. The insurer should also have contacted the witnesses to verify their statements as well. If you believe this has not occurred, you should contact your insurance company and provide the names and contact information of the witnesses.
Without knowing the specific facts of the accident, or speaking with the witnesses, it is difficult to make a determination of who caused the accident. Regardless, if the insurance company determines it is best to settle the claim, you will be forced to live with their decision.
If you are sued, your insurance company will provide an attorney to represent you.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship. In order to obtain legal advice, you should discuss the specific facts of your case with an attorney licenses to practice in your area.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
If you read your policy thoroughly, I suspect you'll find that it gives the insurer the power to make all the decisions on your case. Ask your insurer whether they will at least sue the tortfeasor to get your deductible back. If it won't, then you can consider taking the tortfeasor to small claims court to get that back. Otherwise, your insurer will do its thing without your input.