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Accident: Both Drivers At Fault

Criminal Law Discussion Forum

Accident: Both Drivers At Fault

Postby Johnnie » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:09 am

I was recently in a very minor accident in a parking lot.  I was backing up in the main thoroughfare of the lot, and the other car was backing out of a space into the main thoroughfare.  My rear bumper hit her rear passenger side. Witnesses report that she was moving backward at the time of the accident, and the damage to her car affirms that she was. We exchanged names and telephone numbers, but no insurance information. No police were involved.

The next day she called and told me the total for damage to her car and a rental would be around $1000(she had estimates), and she wants me to pay it.  I believe that we were both at fault, and should be responsible for our own damages, but she disagrees. She has already contacted her insurance company, and they left me a message today. We have not contacted ours.

I feel that if the case went to court neither of us would prevail because we live in a contributory negligence state(NC) and were both at fault. However, I don't want my insurance company getting involved if my rates will go up as a consequence, since that would likely cost more than just paying the $1000 out of pocket. So here are my questions:

1. Would the insurance companies bother litigating such a minor accident, since costs and fees would be more expensive than paying for the damage? I am worried that our insurance company will just pay her claim and then raise my insurance premium, even though I contend that I should not be liable for her claim.

2. I do not intend to file any claim with our insurance company to have my car fixed, since it's just a bumper scrape. Does this make any difference in whether or not my rate will go up?

3. If I called my insurance company and explained the situation, would they be able to estimate for me whether or not my rates would go up, and approximately how much? Would informing them like that without making any claim make my rates go up, even if I later ended up paying the other driver out of pocket? Who would I ask to speak to in order to get that information?

Thanks for your help!
Johnnie
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:08 am

Accident: Both Drivers At Fault

Postby Faber » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:50 pm

You are contractually obligated to report all accidents to your insurance company.  If you fail to do so, they can refuse coverage if this person sues you later on.

Only your agent can tell you what will or will not result in a rate increase. Given the facts of loss that you've provided, it will likely be considered a 50/50 claim with each party equally at fault.  Therefore, neither insurance company is likely to pay anything out to another party. If I were you, I'd also file a claim against the other person's insurance so it will be clear to them that you are denying liability.

Good luck!
Faber
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:42 pm

Accident: Both Drivers At Fault

Postby Granwen » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:52 pm

I was recently in a very minor accident in a parking lot.  I was backing up in the main thoroughfare of the lot, and the other car was backing out of a space into the main thoroughfare.  My rear bumper hit her rear passenger side. Witnesses report that she was moving backward at the time of the accident, and the damage to her car affirms that she was. We exchanged names and telephone numbers, but no insurance information. No police were involved.

The next day she called and told me the total for damage to her car and a rental would be around $1000(she had estimates), and she wants me to pay it.  I believe that we were both at fault, and should be responsible for our own damages, but she disagrees. She has already contacted her insurance company, and they left me a message today. We have not contacted ours.

I feel that if the case went to court neither of us would prevail because we live in a contributory negligence state(NC) and were both at fault. However, I don't want my insurance company getting involved if my rates will go up as a consequence, since that would likely cost more than just paying the $1000 out of pocket. So here are my questions:

1. Would the insurance companies bother litigating such a minor accident, since costs and fees would be more expensive than paying for the damage? I am worried that our insurance company will just pay her claim and then raise my insurance premium, even though I contend that I should not be liable for her claim.

2. I do not intend to file any claim with our insurance company to have my car fixed, since it's just a bumper scrape. Does this make any difference in whether or not my rate will go up?

3. If I called my insurance company and explained the situation, would they be able to estimate for me whether or not my rates would go up, and approximately how much? Would informing them like that without making any claim make my rates go up, even if I later ended up paying the other driver out of pocket? Who would I ask to speak to in order to get that information?

Thanks for your help!
Granwen
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:58 am


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