How do you determine fault for a car accident?

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How do you determine fault for a car accident?

I was in a minor fender bender in a private parking lot. As I was backing into an open space, the other car backing out of its space (about two spaces from where I wanted to park) backed into my front passenger-side door and fender. I called 911 and officer who responded to the scene informed us that because it was a private lot he can’t file an official report. We both carry the same insurance and now adjuster is telling me I was also at fault for not following “rules of the road” by not honking as a warning to the other car. The fact is I checked both my side-view mirrors and a rear-view mirror before backing into the space. I was looking into my rear view mirror while backing. So who is at fault?

Asked on March 7, 2014 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There is no "rule of the road" that you are supposed to honk as a warning to other drivers that you are backing into a parking space.  However, in this case, it does sound like both of you were probably at fault and should each pay for your damages (or your insurances should each pay).  Generally, in a situation such as this, the insurance adjustors are the ones who decide fault.  If they can no agree, one winds up suing the other party.


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