What to do if while parked in front of my house, my truck was hit by a driver who was hit into my truck by another car who left the scene?

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What to do if while parked in front of my house, my truck was hit by a driver who was hit into my truck by another car who left the scene?

They both had stop signs. Now the cars insurance won’t except liability because its not there drivers fault who was hit into my jeep. They told me that I need to use my own insurance and they have nothing to do with it. In the mean time I have to pay $1000 deductable. I can’t understand how could this be when I was home sleeping. How is it that I’m liable?

Asked on November 28, 2012 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It's not that you are liable, it's that the driver you can identify is not, and you apparently can't identify the person who is liable.

The driver who's car was hit into your vehicle is not liable because he or she was not at fault. Liability for an auto accident depends on fault--either on an intentional bad act (e.g. road rage) or careless driving (negligence). If someone did nothing wrong, they are not at fault--and somone who's car was hit into your vehicle presumably did nothing wrong, since they were a victim of the third vehicle as much as you are. (Note: if you disagree and feel that this driver was at fault--for example, that maybe he or she drove through the stop sign, which is why the other vehicle hit him or her--you could sue that driver for your loss and try to prove that he or she was driving carelessly and therefore is liable.)

The driver who hit the second car into your car is presumably at fault, and if you can identify him or her, you could sue.

So again, it's not that the law makes you liable: liable basically means at fault. It's simply that the person you know about is not liable, either--you can't make him or her pay if he or she did nothing wrong simply because you do not want to pay the deductible. You would have to establish his or her fault to seek compensation.


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