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  1. #1
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    Default How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: California

    Accident occurred in a private parking lot, so even though officers arrived at the scene, they did not make a report or charge either driver with anything. The other driver is now claiming that it was my fault, after initially admitting to it. My question is, how do insurance companies determine who is at fault ? Photos of both cars, and including one of my car at the very spot where it was hit by the other driver (she hit me, causing damage to both vehicles) were taken and submitted.

    Thanks !

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    They look at any available evidence, including photographs, witness statements, and damage to the vehicles, and attempt to determine from that evidence the most likely version of what happened.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    Quote Quoting CarWreck
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    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: California

    Accident occurred in a private parking lot, so even though officers arrived at the scene, they did not make a report or charge either driver with anything. The other driver is now claiming that it was my fault, after initially admitting to it. My question is, how do insurance companies determine who is at fault ? Photos of both cars, and including one of my car at the very spot where it was hit by the other driver (she hit me, causing damage to both vehicles) were taken and submitted.
    A lot has to do with who backed out of a parking space.

    Did you back out? Did she back out? Did both of you back out?

    Generally, the one who backed out is at fault.

    When both back out and collide, there is usually no other choice but 50/50.

    All of that is made more complicated by the fact that auto insurance policies allow claim reps to believe their own insureds and/or pay regardless of fault if expedient.

    If you want more comments you'll have to answer the question above plus reveal what the claim reps of each insurance company are saying.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    A lot has to do with who backed out of a parking space.

    Did you back out? Did she back out? Did both of you back out?

    Generally, the one who backed out is at fault.

    When both back out and collide, there is usually no other choice but 50/50.

    All of that is made more complicated by the fact that auto insurance policies allow claim reps to believe their own insureds and/or pay regardless of fault if expedient.

    If you want more comments you'll have to answer the question above plus reveal what the claim reps of each insurance company are saying.

    Hi,

    She was backing out and I was looking for a spot to park. She did not have her rear lights on when I passed her car, and and she suddenly backed out and hit the back passenger panel side and the trunk panel. Initially, she was contrite and apologetic and all that, then made a phone call to someone, and immediately changed her attitude, claiming I "rushed down" the lot and did not wait for her to back out ! I told her right away that (a) I had right of way, even though I am a prudent driver and always yield, not enforce, and (b) the fact that she hit the back passenger panel showed that my car had half-passed her spot when she backed out and hit me.

    In addition, I told her that before the phone call, she had admitted to me (no witnesses, this was noon at a senior residential housing complex) that she had made a mistake not checking her rear view mirror before backing out ! She then clammed up and refused to exchange info, so I had to call the police who refused to do anything more than "facilitate exchange of info". She repeated to the cops that I had passed by without waiting for her to completely exit, but I took photos of where my car was when it was hit and she had parked back in the spot.

    Please advise.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    An insurance company does not determine legal culpability. They determine their belief of culpability but that holds no weight in court. Only a court of law can assign actual fault.

    Your insurance and her insurance company are quite likely to come to an agreement regarding fault. If they don't, either you file a claim with your Insurance and your insurance company can subrogate the claim and she the other party or just suck it up since it does cost money to sue. Her insurance company can do the same.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    Quote Quoting CarWreck
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    Hi,

    She was backing out and I was looking for a spot to park. She did not have her rear lights on when I passed her car, and and she suddenly backed out and hit the back passenger panel side and the trunk panel.
    That would put her 100% at fault in my book.

    Quote Quoting CarWreck
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    Initially, she was contrite and apologetic and all that, then made a phone call to someone, and immediately changed her attitude, claiming I "rushed down" the lot and did not wait for her to back out
    That isn't going to hold water if it gets to court. Unfortunately, if her insurance company believes her and refuses to pay you, you have two options:

    Sue her.

    Have your own collision coverage pay for your repairs.

    You left out the parts where I asked what the insurance claim reps are saying.

    Have you made a claim with her insurance?

    If no, do it.

    If yes, with what result?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    That would put her 100% at fault in my book.



    That isn't going to hold water if it gets to court. Unfortunately, if her insurance company believes her and refuses to pay you, you have two options:

    Sue her.

    Have your own collision coverage pay for your repairs.

    You left out the parts where I asked what the insurance claim reps are saying.

    Have you made a claim with her insurance?

    If no, do it.

    If yes, with what result?
    Hi, this happened yesterday and I contacted my insurance company and gave a person in Claims all of my information and her information and was told that as it was late in the end, I won't hear until Monday. Also, I am wondering what the process is, Jack ? Will my insurance company make a claim with hers on my behalf ? They said they will talk to her on Monday and I assumed that they would follow up with her insurance - I am a bit confused as this hasn't happened to me before. Should I - and not my insurance - contact her company ?

    She also aggressively demanded me for my insurance information and I gave it to her because the cops said that the insurance companies will determine fault. It appears that she wants to file a claim against mine for an accident that she caused !

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    Quote Quoting CarWreck
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    Hi, this happened yesterday and I contacted my insurance company and gave a person in Claims all of my information and her information and was told that as it was late in the end, I won't hear until Monday. Also, I am wondering what the process is, Jack ? Will my insurance company make a claim with hers on my behalf ?
    Only after paying for the damage to your car. That's called subrogation. When your insurance company covers your damage it has the right to seek reimbursement from the at fault driver. You'll be out your deductible until your company collects and then it will be refunded to you.

    Quote Quoting CarWreck
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    They said they will talk to her on Monday and I assumed that they would follow up with her insurance - I am a bit confused as this hasn't happened to me before. Should I - and not my insurance - contact her company ?
    You should be making the claim with her insurance company. Your own claim rep will just get a statement from her as to her version.

    Quote Quoting CarWreck
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    She also aggressively demanded me for my insurance information and I gave it to her because the cops said that the insurance companies will determine fault. It appears that she wants to file a claim against mine for an accident that she caused !
    Exchanging insurance information at the scene is mandatory in that you have to provide to the police by law and the officer swaps the information to each driver.

    You can bet she will be filing a claim with your insurance and you should be doing the same with hers first thing tomorrow.

    As long as your car is drivable there shouldn't be any hurry so feel free to come back to this thread for additional discussion if you need it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Only after paying for the damage to your car. That's called subrogation. When your insurance company covers your damage it has the right to seek reimbursement from the at fault driver. You'll be out your deductible until your company collects and then it will be refunded to you.



    You should be making the claim with her insurance company. Your own claim rep will just get a statement from her as to her version.



    Exchanging insurance information at the scene is mandatory in that you have to provide to the police by law and the officer swaps the information to each driver.

    You can bet she will be filing a claim with your insurance and you should be doing the same with hers first thing tomorrow.

    As long as your car is drivable there shouldn't be any hurry so feel free to come back to this thread for additional discussion if you need it.
    Hi Jack,

    Wow, you were right !!! Someone representing her had called in first thing today to file a claim, asserting over and over to my insurance that she had backed out a whole foot out of the parking spot, and I came down so fast I ignored her tail lights and hit her and that she needed me to pay for damages. She also now claims that she does not speak any English although she talked to the officer at the scene in English and to me in really good English !

    I protested and said that I was looking for a parking spot, so could not have gone "flying down the aisle" as she alleges, and also that she never had her tail lights on -- if she had, I would have waited for her to get out so I could take that spot ! Secondly, I had already half-passed her car when she backed out (without checking her mirror) and hit ME ! There was *nothing* I could have done to prevent the accident as I was not looking at cars I had already passed, but was keeping an eye out on the lane and the spots and cars ahead of me... !

    The insurance company says that the damages would tell the story as I did not have any damages to my front bumper but to my rear passenger and trunk sides only. She has her rear bumper damaged on the right side a bit, and the rest looks fine.

    I am really upset that she would claim to speak no English ! Isn't that fraud if she can later be shown to have the ability to speak the language ? As I did not get the cop's card, I am wondering if he would be able to speak to my insurance and confirm what language she used when she talked to him ? Can you give me your advise, please ? Thanks !

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault

    The only thing you haven't said in all that is whether you called her insurance company to file a claim.

    Did you?

    If not, do it and report back with the results, unless you are just content to have your own insurance cover the damage.

    That she admitted to your own claim rep that she was backing out is likely enough to result in her claim being denied. Did you ask your claim rep what his decision will be.

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