Someone backed into my car at an intersection. Should their insurance be legally required to pay 100%?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 25, 2012

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Insurance Question from Kansas City, KS

Asked on 10/25/2012

Someone backed into my car at an intersection. Should their insurance be legally required to pay 100%? I was involved in an accident a couple weeks ago where a driver put his car in reverse in a left turn lane and hit my car, despite me honking my horn wildly. I was completely stopped, but he told his insurance company he wasn't sure if I hit him or he hit me. He did, however, admit to going in reverse. I'm under the impression that since he was going the wrong way, it doesn't matter who hit who, even though he hit me. His insurance company is refusing to pay, saying it's my word against his. Are they legally required to pay since he was breaking a traffic law that caused the accident?

Answer given on October 25, 2012

An auto accident involving a driver who is backing up is very difficult to determine fault. You indicate that you were stopped, but if the other driver told his insurance company that you may have struck him by moving forward, makes the incident difficult to determine fault.You can submit the claim to your insurance company, if the damage is over your deductible. They will pay for your damage and will then go against the other insurance company for reimburement of the damages. If they are successful you will get your deductible back. However, there is no guarantee of them being successful since the other company is taking their insured’s word for the cause of the accident. However, since he admitted he was backing up, your insurance company may be successful.If your damage is below the deductible you can try to file a claim in small claims court against the driver. If you succeed, then his insurance company will have to pay you for the damages awarded by the court.


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