What to do about a parking lot accident?

I was recently in a fender bender where my car’s rear-end and an another woman’s car rear-end collided. I was pulling into a parking space in a mall parking lot but since my car was leaning a little too much to the right, I realized I needed to reverse so that my car was straight. When I reversed, the much older lady that was in the

Asked on August 20, 2016 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you believe that she was at fault and you were not, you could refuse to pay and wait to see if she sues you; if she does, you could then defend on the basis that you were not at fault--only a person who is at fault has to pay in an accident. So to force you to pay, she would have to sue you and prove in court that you were at fault. If there were no other witnesses and no police report, it will come down to your testimony vs. hers--i.e. who is more credible.
If sued, you could not only defend, but also countersue for your own car's damage; or you file a lawsuit against her in the first place.
If you are sued, you will have to let your insurer know. Important: check your policy to see when you need to let your insurer know about a possible claim--if you don't tell the insurer when the policy requires, you will be breaching your obligations and could have coverage denied.

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