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I had a parking lot accident a month back (in California, US). I was backing out from my parking lot (which is near entrance driveway into the apartment complex). There was no car on both sides of driveway when I started backing out. When was about 1/4th out, a car entered fast and hit my car near the right corner of the back bumper. The other guy hit and run on the day of the accident (police was called and case was filed). The next day I was able to find the other guy's car and he also came and talked to me. He doesn't have an insurance.

It turns out according to law the guy backing out is responsible for the accident on most of the cases. But in this case the other guy was speeding and that I believe was a major contributor to the accident. Initially when I reported the claim, the insurance assumed/agreed it was the other parties fault (They even waived my $500 deductible because the other party didn't have insurance). Today my insurance called me and said, after analyzing the photos and evidence they are going to assign 70% liability on me for the accident and 30% liability on the other party. I tried to argue the accident happened because the other party was speeding and it should at least be a 50-50 liability. They didn't agree and said I have higher liability because the guy backing out is mostly responsible and they say they don't have evidence to prove the other party was really speeding (based on extent of the damage). So they say they can't assign full or majority of liability on the other party. Are they trying to put majority of blame on me so that they can increase my premium or are they acting the right way? Does the insurance have something to gain from assigning more fault on me?

Do I have any option other than agreeing with what my insurance is saying? How much does the insurance premium go up by usually? How long does something like this stay on my record and how much loss will I endure? Is it just the premium going up or should I worry about other monetary disadvantages I might face because of this bad record? Can switching insurance (after the claims is done) reduce my premium?

In general, I'm just trying to make sure I'm not being cheated monetarily by the insurance company in any way.

  • If the police are involved, do they have any kind of investigation? You might need to get a lawyer involved, but for instance if the other driver faces criminal charges for hit-and-run, that may involve the collection of evidence that could help you in your dealings with the insurance company. – BrenBarn Nov 25 '14 at 3:58
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You should probably talk to a lawyer experienced in such matters, it is really hard to tell from what you described whether there is a problem or not.

Are they trying to put majority of blame on me so that they can increase my premium or are they acting the right way?

Both may be true. They are acting in their own best interests, not yours. They're trying to minimize their exposure. Had the other guy had insurance they would be much more susceptible to shift the blame, but since he doesn't - it is unlikely that they'll recover their money. So it is not in their best interests to accept your claim. Whether they're right or not - you answered yourself. A person backing out is usually responsible and the burden of proof that you aren't is on you.

Does the insurance have something to gain from assigning more fault on me?

Of course. Less money to shell out, more premiums to get. That said, they are willing to admit that some of the blame is on the other driver, which means that they're not entirely dismissing your claims.

In general, I'm just trying to make sure I'm not being cheated monetarily by the insurance company in any way.

Sue them.

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