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  #16  
Old 08-07-2002, 03:15 PM
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Plus this happened in a parking lot, right? So that's private property, most likely. In that case you were not even in violation of any traffic laws!!!
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2002, 03:26 PM
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I once had a claim for hit-and-run damage refused by my insurance company BECAUSE it was on private property (mall parking lot).
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  #18  
Old 08-07-2002, 03:52 PM
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In California...

...insurance companies have a duty to investigate all claims. Your carrier makes a determination of your percentage of fault. Your carrier then has to inform you of the percentage and of the basis of their decision. You then have the option of appealing their decision.

In this case, IF the other carrier is saying that our form member is 100% at fault, then you can bet that the other party has either filed or will file a claim against our member's carrier. So both insurance companies ARE already involved.

Companies, at least in California, cannot arbitrarily raise your rates upon an arbitrary "at fault" decision.

For example, a few years ago I was hit by another driver. When I contacted his carrier (not wanting to "incoveneince" my own) the other carrier gave me the run around. After a couple of calls where I was getting nowhere, I called my company, filed a claim with my company, my company paid for my damages and then my company went after the other guy. I never paid a deductible and my premiums never went up.

So don't waste time with the other guy's insurance company. They will not do the right thing, contact your own carrier and let the two fight it out...

Driving in a mall parking lot may be covered under local municipal code regulations.
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  #19  
Old 08-07-2002, 05:02 PM
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A woman hit my car last month, damage was 2700 bucks. It was her fault (illegal left turn, as per the police report). I asked her to contact her insurance company. I faxed them the written estimate. Then they asked me to bring the car to the adjuster for inspection. He cut me a check for 2300 after that rightaway. My insurance company was not involved at all.

My colleague had a minor accident - not his fault. he contacted his insurance company first. They contacted the guilty party's insurance company. Both the insurance companies fought it out for a while. My colleague got his car repaired, thought he had taken care of everything, so didn't follow up. On the next policy renewal, hi premiums went up steeply. When he contacted his insurance company, they said that THEY had to pay the other company, so it was noted as a claim against HIS policy, so his rating goes down, etc. etc.

You file a claim with your own insurance, your premiums are bound to go up. Its a very different world now, with insurance companies trying whatever they can to make another buck.
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  #20  
Old 08-07-2002, 05:13 PM
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It is illegal....

...for an insurance company to raise rates if the policyholder is not at fault. Regardless of how different the world may, or may not, be the law is the law. File a complaint with the Insurance Commissioner.

Besides, the other insurance company has already "determined" that their insured was not at fault. So they are not going to pay.

At this point his options are limited:

1. Try to convince the other insurance company that their own insured was at fault--good luck;

2. Hire a lawyer to convince the other insurance company that they should pay up--this can get expensive, but as long as money is going into a lawyer's pockets that's OK I guess;

3. Sue in Small Claims Court (hoping that Judge Judy will snap up the case)--this can also be tricky. If you get a Judge Pro Tem who makes a bad decision and rules against you, you are out of luck because plaintiffs don't have appeal rights in Small Claims. On the other hand, if you win, the other party can appeal, defendants do have the right to appeal. This is all very time consuming.

4. Pay for the damage yourself and avoid the hassles listed above.


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Last edited by BENZ-LGB; 08-07-2002 at 05:20 PM.
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  #21  
Old 08-07-2002, 05:21 PM
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Insurance companies price insurance based on a driver's risk rating - any "fault" raises the driver's risk rating, so he/she pays more. However, any claim, EVEN when the driver is NOT at fault, raises the driver's risk rating - though not by that much. The insurance companies' argument is that on average, risky drivers are involved in accidents more than safe drivers, regardless of who is at fault in a particular accident (to some extent, it is true!!). So ANY claim leads to a rise in premiums. Same thing happens with home insurance - you file the most innocuous of claims, and the premiums go up - there, even the argument of risk rating doesn't hold here(are you a "higher risk" homeowner if a storm damages a window in your house?).

So either it is legal to increase premiums regardless of who is at fault, OR insurance companies have been scaming tons of customers for a while (and that is certainly possible!!). I have seen it happen in at least 3 instances.
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  #22  
Old 08-07-2002, 10:25 PM
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You need

...to change insurance companies or move to a state with better consumer protection.

I've been driving for 30 years now. In that time I've filed many claims with my insurance carrier. Some were my fault; most were not.

Not once...not ever...has my carrier raised my rates for filing a claim that was not fault.

In the combined experience of my family, friends, business associates, etc., has an insurance carrier raised rates for filing a claim when the claimant was not at fault.

Like I said, you need to change insurance companies or you need to move to a state with better consumer protection.

Lest you think that I am pro-insurance. I've spent a significant chunk of my legal career suing insurance companies on behalf of consumers.

BTW...somebody should close this thread, it is getting way off-topic...
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  #23  
Old 08-07-2002, 11:07 PM
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Getting back to the original question of who is at fault, if the guy backed into a stationary object, it's his fault. Around here, you're not supposed to back up unless you can do it in safety, which, obviously, he couldn't have done.
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  #24  
Old 08-08-2002, 12:07 AM
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I hit a car while I was backing up from a completely obscured parking spot. He was going around 40 mph on a mall parking lot. However, since he was in a "traffic lane" I was found at fault. The police were not called because it was a private property and no traffic laws were broken. I contacted my insurance to give my story, but did not file claim. Damage to my car was ... $2.50 (touch up paint). Damage to his $3,500 (I drove the Wag). My rates went up $200/year for 3 years because I was 100% at fault. You ALWAYS need to notify your insurance, because the guy may call his and told them YOU hit him. If he was at fault (and in your case he was). Your insurance will fight it out with him. Your rates may go up depending on your % of fault (in this case-0% so they should not, specifically because you were out of the car).
Anyway, California is almost equivalent to the communist country I came from (circa 1981), so I have no clue what your rights are. sorry.
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  #25  
Old 08-08-2002, 12:28 AM
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Piotr

Welcome fellow communist-country-escapee!
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  #26  
Old 08-08-2002, 06:43 PM
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..the facts maam,just the facts...

375 in damage?how bad can that be?i know principle&pride come into play here(although i'm not sure in what order).i think we all agree it's his fault but something tells me: parking lot-red flag.i'd go with benz320 on this.stern letter,no lawyers and if you had to,small claims.i'd make sure you reported to police,got a report #and go to your insurance LAST.sure you can file with your insurance,get it fixed and have them chase his carrier-until which it would go as a claim by you on YOUR record.if they raise your rates(don't worry they will-they just won't say it's because of your claim)you can fight them after they have settled with his insurance.god,for 375 i'd do everything i could to settle it asap.one thing that could go a long way in your favour is a witness.then your would have the proverbial hammer.good luck!
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  #27  
Old 08-08-2002, 09:26 PM
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I have 5 witnesses and I changed to another adjuster. He is already acknowledging that his client is at fault. But, I need to source a website that has CA law for angle parking and one way parking lanes.
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  #28  
Old 08-09-2002, 10:08 AM
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..........go to your insurance LAST.sure you can file with your insurance,get it fixed and have them chase his carrier-until which it would go as a claim by you on YOUR record.if they raise your rates(don't worry they will-they just won't say it's because of your claim)..........
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EXACTLY my point.
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