If I was involved in an accident that took place in a parking lot. what are my next steps?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I was involved in an accident that took place in a parking lot. what are my next steps?

An insured car with an excluded driver was involved in a parking lot accident. Our insurance has already closed the claim, paying out nothing because of the exclusion. Now the other insurance is claiming our driver is at fault and needs to pay $25,000. Our driver stopped at a parking spot with no one nearby being able to pull out. The other driver slammed into our car, with our car being

Asked on January 21, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are sued for the damage to the other vehicle, you can agree to pay; try to negotiate a settlement that both sides will agree to (then pay it); or defend the case. If you try to defend the case, the issue will turn on who was at fault: liability, or an obligation to pay for auto damage in a collission, is based on fault. Who was driving carelessly: did your driver fail to look behind him as he pulled out, or backed out at an excessive speed? Or did the other drive speed through the lot at too high a rate of speed and/or not pay attention while driving (driving distractedly)? Whoever was at fault, which depends on the exact, specific facts, has to pay.
In TX, you can both be at fault to varying percentages (e.g. driver A 2/3 at fault, driver B 1/3) and that effects how much you can recover: if B in this example sued A for $15,000 but was himself 1/3 at fault, he could get 2/3 of $15k, or $10k.
You must be no more than 50% at fault to successfully sue the other side and recover money: if 51% or more at fault, you cannot win money, though the other side can win money from you.
The same principals above apply if you sue the other driver for your car's loss. And both sides can sue the other other--e.g. A can sue B, then B can countersue A--and the court will decide who gets what.

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