What can I do if I was parked and hit by another which which took off?

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What can I do if I was parked and hit by another which which took off?

I was parked at a store and when I can to my car with husband and sister we saw that a car which had parked on the left side of the vehicle had backed out scratching my bumper and even loosen it so it hangs. We called the cops and asked if the store had surveillance but they said their cameras can’t catch license plates in general. And there was no witnesses of the accident. Now my insurance says I have to pay collision but I think I shouldn’t pay cause it was vandalism.

Asked on July 20, 2011 New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Vandalism is a deliberate act of damage or destruction, so if the other car hit you by accident--e.g. bad driving, misjudged distance, etc.--that is not vandalism, and collision would be the appropriate insurance for it to go under (if you have insurance). If you dispute the insurer's determination, you can appeal it internally, and/or bring a lawsuit to try to force them pay. Of course, it's not a given you'd win--from what you write, for example, concluding that the damage was done accidentally seems a reasonable conclusion--so if you did sue, there is a good chance you would spend time and money on the suit and still lose. This is why it is often a good idea to maintain collision insurance, with deductibles you can afford--because sometimes the damage occurs in such a way that you cannot effectively (including cost-effectively) bring a legal action to seek payment from another.


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