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  1. #1

    Angry Accident While Being Passed in Parking Lot

    My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: Florida

    I was in a Wal Mart driving through the parking lot. I was proceeding on one of the outer roadways around teh main parking areas. I swerved to left around a piece of debris in the roadway and then corrected back into the right lane. In that amount of time, no more than 1-2 seconds, a lady tried to speed past me on the right and hit me. She stopped and I proceeded because I was about to be hit by a truck coming the other direction.

    We then pulled off the main roadway and exchanged information. In Florida, the police will not come to the scene of non-injury accidents on private property unless the vehicle is disabled, which this was very minor damage to both vehicles, the worst of which was a broken light cover lens on her car. The rest were minor scrapes, but no dents.

    She has now emailed me with estimates ($748 for a lens cover and to repaint a 2001 VW Beetle plastic fender) and is asking how I would like to proceed. HUH?!?!?!? We had agreed not to alert our insurance companies and the only reason I gave her my info was that she said she "had a friend" that did body work and could probably fix things very cheap. Then I get an estimate from an auto body shop from this lady.

    We had agreeed on the spot that neither of us was interested in going through our insurance companies for such minimal damage. It would only jack our rates for a few scratches that wouldn't go over the deductible most likely anyway. I was willing to walk away and take mutual blame and fix my damage and she do the same. Now she is trying to make it out as my fault.

    I am not a lawyer or police officer, but I do know a lot about traffic laws and in this case, I was in front of this person and she tried to pass me on the right before I had exited the mutual roadway on which we were proceeding. Am I wrong in thinking that she is at fault or at the very least, in the far reaches of the universe, 50/50 at fault and therefore, you go your way, I go mine?

    How should I proceed? I can't afford a lawyer or to get my insurance rates raised. Is there a law I could cite to her and hopefully make her go away?

    PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    71,724

    Default Re: Accident While Being Passed in Parking Lot

    I would suggest turning her claim over to your insurance, assuming they'll still cover the accident with what may be an untimely report and no police accident report, and let them handle it.

    If you want, you're free to sue her in small claims court. She'll presumably countersue and the judge will decide fault.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Accident While Being Passed in Parking Lot

    You cannot prevent her from filing a claim against your insurance.

    Therefore your best approach is to NOTIFY your insurance and MAKE SURE they do not adjudicate it as your fault.

    Often times, they take the easy path... so some gentle pressure is needed.

    It should not affect your rates if she is determined to be at fault.

    I would not be precise about how much you moved to the left. She had a duty to pass with care. You were not indicating a turn. I am frankly unfamiliar with FL law.

    If your insurance says it is her fault, then GOOD NEWS, you can get your car fixed for free too.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Accident While Being Passed in Parking Lot

    If I decide to go this route, is it easy to get the surveillance footage pulled? My main supposition in all of this is that if I am at fault, so be it. However, I have just never heard of someone getting passed on the right, even during a left turn, and the passing vehicle hitting the other in front of them, that it is the driver in front's fault.

    I have heard in cases like this, especially in court, you have to apply the 3D rule: Duty, Disregard(Dereliction), Damages. In this case, it seems she had a duty to 1) not follow so closely that she could have even passed on my right that quickly in the first place (it was Beetle, not a Ferrari), 2) to give me right of way until I was no longer on that section of roadway in front of her and 3) not to hit a car in front of her. Well she failed in those duties because she: 1) was able to get almost completely parallel with me in no more than a second, which indicates she was right on my rear, 2) & 3) made contact with my vehicle, clearly indicating I was both still on the roadway and still in front of her. This all caused damages to both vehicles. Her car is a rundown 2001 VW beetle that already had paint damage to the fender and a busted fog light on the opposite side of impact. Mine is 2007 Honda Accord. The area damged on her car is plastic. Mine is metal and will require actually body work. I am sure it will be a couple grand.

    I am not sure about my insurance. I didn't make a claim, etc, because I thought we were mutually walking away, even though I felt it was really her fault. In her correspondence she says I told her it was my fault. I wouldn't have done that. In actuality, she admitted fault stating "I think that was my fault." to which I said "I don't know, I am not a cop". Could she be taking this as an admission of guilt? But beside all that, does it even matter? It's all heresay isn't it? And even if it wasn't, as I said I am not qualified to assign fault at an accident site. I was willing to walk away and it's looking like I am going ot have to fight this lady and it seems to me she is trying to run a scam on me too.

    Quote Quoting adam_
    View Post
    It should not affect your rates if she is determined to be at fault.
    I called my agent anonymously just to ask what he thought was best. He said it would raise my rates because of the odd regulations in FL. Something to do with it being a no fault state or something. Basically, it just shows that you live in a higher risk area of accident and therefore the company is more at risk of uninsured, etc, when you have a claim of any accident.


    BTW, I really appreciate your advise and responses. My responses are in no way an attack on yours, I am just supplying all the info I can to get the best advice I can on how to proceed and know what to expect once I do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Accident While Being Passed in Parking Lot

    I will repeat myself:

    you can not prevent her from filing against you.

    Call the florida department of insurance and ask about rates. DO NOT trust an insurance salesman.

    http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/frfaqcrash.html

    I'd report to my insurer, say I am not at fault, say I am not pursing a claim at this point.

    Then let her make her next move.

    If she files, you fight with your insurer on your side... if she loses you can get your car fixed on her dime.

    Your fear of your insurance is allowing her to push you around....

  6. #6

    Default Re: Accident While Being Passed in Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting adam_
    View Post
    I will repeat myself:

    you can not prevent her from filing against you.

    Call the florida department of insurance and ask about rates. DO NOT trust an insurance salesman.

    http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/frfaqcrash.html

    I'd report to my insurer, say I am not at fault, say I am not pursing a claim at this point.

    Then let her make her next move.

    If she files, you fight with your insurer on your side... if she loses you can get your car fixed on her dime.

    Your fear of your insurance is allowing her to push you around....
    Thanks for the link. I suppose the fear of higher insurance rates is making me afraid! they are already ridiculous. I am a little concerned that we did not obtain a police report. She could say anything happened at this point. I suppose that in the end Wal Mart has surveillance tapes and it wouldn't behoove her to lie at all, but I am still nervous. I suppose it's my own fault.

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