What to do if I was hit by a car when I was in a gas station?

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What to do if I was hit by a car when I was in a gas station?

No one was injured. The car backed up and hit my car on the side as I was waiting for a car to get out of the pump area where I was trying to park. This car was initially in front of this pump area and suddenly backed up. As I was seeing the car coming, I honked by there was nothing else I could do. When I talked to a couple of ladies, the daughter told me right away that she wasn’t driving but she was the one driving. The mother gave her driver’s license and each of us called our insurance companies. Days later, I contacted my insure and they told me that they acknowledged that they were backing up. The ladies insurer told me that I had to pay for the car damages. How can I fight this?

Asked on July 7, 2013 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are NOT liable for the damage to the other car and should NOT  pay for their property damage.

The registered owner of the car that backed into you is liable for the property damage (cost of repairs) to your car because the other driver was at fault in the accident.  You should refer the matter to your insurance carrier and also inform your insurance carrier that the daughter lied about not being the driver.  The registered owner of the vehicle is liable for the accident even if someone else was driving.

If your property damage is not resolved and the other insurance carrier continues to claim that you are liable for the damage to the other car, and a lawsuit is filed against you, your insurance carrier will provide you with an attorney at no cost to you who will handle the case.

Another alternative if the property damage is not resolved and the other insurance company refuses to pay for your property damage is to sue the at-fault party for negligence.  Depending on the amount of damage to your car, you may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Name both the registered owner and the at-fault driver as defendants in your lawsuit. 


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