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Hit while in parking lot, person backed into passenger door

#1
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California. I was pulling into a parking lot, it’s a one way in entrance. As I moved forward I was suddenly hit forcefully on my passenger door, the window to the passenger door broke and came flying into the car and toward me, the side view mirror was also projected into the car. As I came to a stop the driver in his motion continued to drag the length of my car ripping back portions of the fiberglass and even tore the handle of the passenger door off. There is absolutely zero damage on the front quarter panel of my car. The damage began at the passenger door. His insurer is trying to say I am 10% at fault. I completely disagree with this and will not agree to this. How do I go about relaying this to the insurer of the other driver. I already opened a claim with my own insurer. Even though that car only has liability. What does 10% mean?
 

latigo

Senior Member
#2
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California. I was pulling into a parking lot, it’s a one way in entrance. As I moved forward I was suddenly hit forcefully on my passenger door, the window to the passenger door broke and came flying into the car and toward me, the side view mirror was also projected into the car. As I came to a stop the driver in his motion continued to drag the length of my car ripping back portions of the fiberglass and even tore the handle of the passenger door off. There is absolutely zero damage on the front quarter panel of my car. The damage began at the passenger door. His insurer is trying to say I am 10% at fault. I completely disagree with this and will not agree to this. How do I go about relaying this to the insurer of the other driver. I already opened a claim with my own insurer. Even though that car only has liability. What does 10% mean?
What does 10% mean? Seriously?

What it means is that the other guy's chiseling insurance liability carrier is only agreeing to pay on its insured's behalf 90% of the cost of having your vehicle repaired.

In other words they have arbitrarily found you 10% responsible for the accident. And don't ask me how! It is just something the crooked weasels pull out of a hat. Plus they know they have you in a bind guessing that you don't have the thousands of bucks on hand to pay for the extensive repairs to your car. So, you either accept their arbitrary offer or sue their insured customer in small claims and wait months to get your car fixed - if you are lucky.

It makes my blood boil the way they chisel the public. They've got enough money to sink Manhattan and all the ships at sea even considering the billions they spend on TV trying to get their greedy claws in us!
 

adjusterjack

It's a Dry Heat
#3
Gee, Latigo, big surprise.

I actually agree with you that, in this case, the OP is getting chiseled and also suggest that he sue the other driver in small claims court.

Obviously, though, I don't agree with your rant that paints the entire insurance industry with the same brush.

What happened to you that made you feel that way?
 
#4
Is it redundant to then not accept the offer? Honestly I have other vehicles and thankfully it’s an old car that I rarely use. Albeit I just put brand new tires on it. Which I will switch out to bald of course upon the total loss. I have no problem taking him to small claims court. At all. I have all the time in the world and the guy that hit me was ranting as he got out of the vehicle. How I was at fault. I told him to get back in his Porsche and sit down. He was obviously of the opinion that he could do whatever he wanted. He drives a Porsche and I am old Saturn. So I must be at fault. Never mind that I was traveling and he was backing out of parking spot. I even asked the bank if they had surveillance of the parking lot and surprisingly they advised me they did not. Only the atm which didn’t help me. So if I tell them no I don’t accept the 10% liability then what? It’s over as far as the insurance is concerned?
 

adjusterjack

It's a Dry Heat
#9
So if I tell them no I don’t accept the 10% liability then what? It’s over as far as the insurance is concerned?
No.

If you decline the offer and sue the other driver in small claims court, his insurance company is obligated to hire a lawyer to defend him in court.

Once he is served the summons and complaint, his claims people will have to decide if it's worth the cost of a lawyer to fight it or just cave in and pay you the full amount, which would then include your court costs and process service fees.

What you can try is filling out a small claims complaint (but don't file it) and send it to the claim rep to show that you are willing and able to go to court if you don't get the 100%.

Don't bluff. Be prepared to follow through with a lawsuit if the adjuster stands fast.
 

Stevef

Senior Member
#11
Is it redundant to then not accept the offer? Honestly I have other vehicles and thankfully it’s an old car that I rarely use. Albeit I just put brand new tires on it. Which I will switch out to bald of course upon the total loss. I have no problem taking him to small claims court. At all. I have all the time in the world and the guy that hit me was ranting as he got out of the vehicle. How I was at fault. I told him to get back in his Porsche and sit down. He was obviously of the opinion that he could do whatever he wanted. He drives a Porsche and I am old Saturn. So I must be at fault. Never mind that I was traveling and he was backing out of parking spot. I even asked the bank if they had surveillance of the parking lot and surprisingly they advised me they did not. Only the atm which didn’t help me. So if I tell them no I don’t accept the 10% liability then what? It’s over as far as the insurance is concerned?
Has the car been declared a total loss? How was their valuation?

I had a car a similar situation where they said my son was 10 percent at fault, however they used an overpriced car on a local dealer's lot to determine the value. I had decided before getting their information that I would go to court if they offered anything under $2500. They valued the car at $3500 , but took off 10% leaving me with $3150. I took it.
 
#13
Not in small claims court in CA.
So they do not have obligation to defend in CA? I am in California. I am willing to go to court. I will not bluff. I’m not gonna sit back and just accept ten percent fault. The claim rep indicated I should have saw him coming toward me. Should have is a pretty vague term to use in fault determination. If the person who hit me comes flying out of the parking space, which I can only assume by the way the glass and side view came flying at me, how am I supposed to see this coming. I’m not driving with blinders on but that seemed like a ridiculous thing for the claim rep to say.
 

Zigner

Senior Member
#14
So they do not have obligation to defend in CA? I am in California. I am willing to go to court. I will not bluff. I’m not gonna sit back and just accept ten percent fault. The claim rep indicated I should have saw him coming toward me. Should have is a pretty vague term to use in fault determination. If the person who hit me comes flying out of the parking space, which I can only assume by the way the glass and side view came flying at me, how am I supposed to see this coming. I’m not driving with blinders on but that seemed like a ridiculous thing for the claim rep to say.
I said no such thing. What I said is that they won't be sending an attorney to small claims court. They may simply agree to pay it in full, they may suggest their client go to small claims court and then take responsibility for the cost of a loss, or they may ask that the case be moved to a higher court. For what is likely a very small amount, I suspect they'll either pony up the extra 10% or they'll tell their client to go to small claims.
 
#15
Property Damage Only Claims Don't Scare Insurers

Based on the prior discussion, it seems pretty clear the other driver's insurance adjuster is trying to show what a great negotiator s/he is by cheating you out of 10% of the value of the claim. That's an unfair claims practice and I suggest that you report it to the California Insurance Department -- not that they are likely to do anything that helps you but they will send the complaint to the insurer, and that will cause the insurer to have to respond and may impact the insurer's quality score.

In situations like this where you are not at fault -- and assuming you had collision coverage -- often the best thing to do would be to turn it over to your own insurance carrier. You'll get paid less the deductible at once and as the at fault driver's carrier will not be likely to play games with your carrier, and will pay in full, you're likely to eventually get full payment.

Insurers really don't worry about property damage only claims -- they do worry about the potential claim they face where there is real injury to a person, and they sometimes worry that a person may claim he or she was injured in the accident and will go to to a less than ethical lawyer who tries to turns a minor fender bender into a personal injury claim. In personal injury claims potential damages are less cut and dried. Unethical insurers dealing with unethical lawyers -- one heck of a loss to society.