My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: MA
Following a sunny day at the Franklin Park Zoo, my girlfriend and I decided to stop at one of the many Quiznos that dots Massachusetts. This involved some parallel parking. She, doing the driving, came to a stop in the right lane of a four lane, two way street (it's not divided by lines, for whatever reason, which sometimes confuses drivers new to the area). The car behind us, a little compact, gave us ample room to back into an open space, and so she began the parking maneuver.
Slightly more than half-way into the space, a boxy Scion came down the street and I, looking toward the curb didn't quite see the contact, but I did hear it. The front passenger side door of the Scion was scraping against our front left bumper. The elderly driver of the Scion immediately started screaming at us to move out of the street, which, unfortunately, we did-- without being able to take any pictures of the positioning of the vehicles. The scratch on her door didn't look serious at the time (ahaha) and we were driving an old, used sedan, so the bumper wasn't in beautiful shape to begin with. Because of that, we didn't call the police, instead just exchanging insurance information.
Here's a diagram: http://imgur.com/sp7Pn.png
My girlfriend insists that the street around her had been completely clear, and, from when I had looked at the beginning of the maneuver, it was. She's a good driver and this is her first accident. The only way the Scion driver could have come into contact with our half-parked car was if she was driving in both lanes of the street simultaneously. I'm assuming that the woman, who we did not see before the bump, had grown impatient at waiting in the right lane for someone's parallel parking and had swung around and either failed to correct her course or thought that she was in a single lane way.
Is it worth contesting this? Does it sound hopeless to prove that she was less than 50% at fault? Help!
At the same time, the insurance company decided to pay out over $2000 for this beauty: http://imgur.com/atmGW.jpg and simply listed the whole incident as "operator struck another vehicle while reversed" on the state's SDIP form. This, after the claims agent had told us that they would get in touch to investigate the matter beyond taking my girlfriend's name/DL#/etc. They didn't-- when we called to complain, the agent hadn't even recorded the layout of the street. We had to re-explain that it was, in fact, a two lane way!
edit: The reasoning for the fifty percent+ at fault, according to the SDIP form, is that she "backed" into the Scion. This did not happen; I'm confused as to what the insurance company had recorded as to their reasoning.