What are my chances in my claim

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Latest post Fri, Jun 17 2011 7:13 PM by LynnM. 9 replies.
  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 4:13 PM

    • rakeshc
      Consumer
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    • CA
    • Posts 17

    What are my chances in my claim

    Hi Guys,

       My friend was driving my car and met with an accident in the parking lot. The other car was at fault and she agreed at the spot. But when her parents arrived, she started saying that its not her fault. My car hit the left rear tire from the side. I had my bumper damaged. Now someone please help me understand my chances in this claim.

    • My front hit her side. People I talked to said I would be at fault. 
    • My cars license plate is bent because of the impact. It is because the force was coming from the side. I meanto say that the other car is at a higher speed. If My car was at higher speed, it would not bend sidewards, in fact the other car will be impacted more. 
    • The friend of mine who was driving the car had only a learner's permit. I was not in the car when my friend was driving.

     

    Please advice

    Thanks,

    Rakesh

  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 4:20 PM In reply to

    • rakeshc
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Wed, Oct 6 2010
    • CA
    • Posts 17

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    Hi All,

      Please find the pics here. Please observe that the registration plate above the first number is bent towards a side. The car hit me from the other side.

    https://picasaweb.google     /rkreddy46/CarAccident

    Thanks,

    Rakesh

  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 4:40 PM In reply to

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    The link you posted doesn't work.

    rakeshc:

  • My front hit her side. People I talked to said I would be at fault. 
  • That's probably true. But I'd need to know the positions of both vehicles before the impact and at the point of impact.

    rakeshc:
  • My cars license plate is bent because of the impact. It is because the force was coming from the side. I meanto say that the other car is at a higher speed. If My car was at higher speed, it would not bend sidewards, in fact the other car will be impacted more. 
  • Speed is the least of the factors and, depending on who was coming from where, might not mean anything at all.

    rakeshc:
  • The friend of mine who was driving the car had only a learner's permit. I was not in the car when my friend was driving.
  • That could be a HUGE issue with your liability insurance and the DMV if the the other driver wants to push it.

    Besides, it's entirely possible that your driver's inexperience caused him to improperly control his vehicle when an experienced driver might have avoided the accident. That would still put him at fault.

    And could put you at fault for negligent entrustment because you let an inexperienced driver drive your car unsupervised.

    Have you reported this to your insurance company?

    Yes or no?

     

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 4:53 PM In reply to

    • rakeshc
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Wed, Oct 6 2010
    • CA
    • Posts 17

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    Thank you jack for the reply.

    Positions: It happened at a T-intersection without any stop signs. My friend has already entered the intersection and was aiming to park in an open slot just after the interseection. The other car was coming from the righ side (90 degre angle to my car) and despite seeing my car in the intersection, she went past my car fastly. my friend applied the breakes but still that car hit my car and then stopped. 

        During the impact, the bumper of my car was touching the left rear tire. The two cars were perpendicular to each other.

    My Friend's license:  Could you pleae explain what that HUGE issue could mean. I let my insurance agents know it. I filed a claim against the other driver using their policy. Will this accident put my( or my friends) license at risk? 

     

    Thanks,

    Rakesh

     

  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 5:04 PM In reply to

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    rakeshc:
    My friend was driving my car and met with an accident in the parking lot. The other car was at fault and she agreed at the spot. But when her parents arrived, she started saying that its not her fault.

    You weren't there when this happened. All you have is your friend's account of what happened, and it may not be accurate.

    rakeshc:
    My front hit her side. People I talked to said I would be at fault.

    Well, YOU wouldn't be directly at fault because you weren't driving. Either your (presumably young) friend or the other driver would be at fault here. You might have vicarious liability, and I'll get to that in a moment.

    The usual presumption, lacking evidence to the contrary, is that the car hitting from behind is the one likely at fault. Hitting the side of the other car with the front of your car gives a little more room for contrary explanations, but the details will matter as to who is at fault between your friend and the other driver.

    rakeshc:
    My cars license plate is bent because of the impact. It is because the force was coming from the side. I meanto say that the other car is at a higher speed. If My car was at higher speed, it would not bend sidewards, in fact the other car will be impacted more. 

    Are you an accident reconstruction expert? If not, then your conclusions are not admissible in court and, frankly, aren't worth all that much because there is a lot more to what causes any particular type of damage than just speed. I don't think that as a matter of logic had your car been the faster car that the damage on her car would have been greater. There are a lot of factors that determine damage to a car, including but not limited to how well the car is built and maintained, what kind of traction each car had, the mass of each vehicle, etc. I've seen low speed accidents in which one vehicle barely had a scratch while the bumper of the other was totally crushed. Just for one obviously extreme example, suppose a small two door hatchback going 25 mph hits a military tank going 5 mph. Which will sustain the greater damage, do you think? It's not going to be the tank.

    Even if you are an accident reconstruction expert, you suffer from two problems. One, you presumably didn't go out right after the accident to see exactly how the cars were positioned, what tread marks, etc., there were, what the surface was like, and so forth. That would limit your ability to reach a conclusion with a high degree of confidence, I think, on what occurred. Second, as the owner of the car in question, you'd be biased in your views of the matter. That would make it easy to cast doubt on the testimony you provide. In short, you'd need to hire an expert to testify as to what conclusions can be drawn from the damages sustained and other physical and photographic evidence there is of the accident. And that doesn't come cheap.

    However, if you have insurance (and hopefully you do) and if the insurance covers this accident, the insurance company will handle any claim from the other driver regarding damages. If you've not notified your insurance company, you need to do that ASAP. Your contract requires it and you may risk the company denying your claim if you don't follow that requirement.

    rakeshc:
    The friend of mine who was driving the car had only a learner's permit. I was not in the car when my friend was driving.

    Here is where another problem comes up, and it could be big one. Your friend just had a learner's permit. That means he could not drive alone; he needed to have licensed parent, guardian, or other person over age 25 in the car with him while driving. If he was driving alone, he was illegally driving. That fact may end with him being at fault in the accident. Moreover, if you let him drive it alone knowing he had just a learners permit, you may be vicariously liable for the damages he caused. Finally, if he was driving illegally, your insurance likely excludes coverage for that. That would mean you and your friend would be on the hook for the damages caused out of your own pockets if he was at-fault here.

  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 5:12 PM In reply to

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    rakeshc:

    Positions: It happened at a T-intersection without any stop signs. My friend has already entered the intersection and was aiming to park in an open slot just after the interseection. The other car was coming from the righ side (90 degre angle to my car) and despite seeing my car in the intersection, she went past my car fastly. my friend applied the breakes but still that car hit my car and then stopped. 

        During the impact, the bumper of my car was touching the left rear tire. The two cars were perpendicular to each other.

    Sorry, but your friend's story just doesn't add up.

    For him to hit the left rear of a car going from right to left across his field of vision means he would have had to enter the intersection last, not first. At least, that's what the legal presumption is. Everybody who ever hits another driver claims the other driver was going too fast. Had your friend actually come to a complete stop and looked to the right he wouldn't have been able to miss seeing the oncoming vehicle.

    My conclusion is that your friend was at fault.

    rakeshc:

    My Friend's license:  Could you pleae explain what that HUGE issue could mean. I let my insurance agents know it. I filed a claim against the other driver using their policy. Will this accident put my( or my friends) license at risk? 

    I predict that the other driver's insurance company is going to deny your claim and your own insurance company will pay for her damage.

    As long as her damage gets paid for, there shouldn't be any problem with your friend's license if there were no police and no citations issued.

    Beyond that, I suspect that you will have a problem with your insurance company for letting an unlicensed driver drive your vehicle without you in the car. It's possible that your company could cancel or non-renew you for doing that. Even if that doesn't happen, your rates will go up because the accident will be charged against your policy.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 5:28 PM In reply to

    • rakeshc
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Wed, Oct 6 2010
    • CA
    • Posts 17

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    Thanks Jack and Taxagent.

       When I went to the incident scene and talked to the other driver, she agreed that she was at a higher speed. she was saying that it was her right of way and she did not slow down and was waiting for my friend to stop. ANyway I cant prove that she said that. She accepted her fault in the beginning and then started arguing when her parents came and also faked a neck injury almost instantaneously.

    I am going to meet a lawyer on this issue. But before I meet the lawyer, I just want to gain a broader view of how this is going to be. Assume that it is my friend's fault. The other friend Mr.Taxagent replied to this post saying that i have to pay out of my pocket because i let my friend (without license) drive it. Is there any way I can have the insurance company pay it rather than me. 

     

    Thanks,

    Rakesh

  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 5:54 PM In reply to

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    rakeshc:
    When I went to the incident scene and talked to the other driver, she agreed that she was at a higher speed. she was saying that it was her right of way and she did not slow down and was waiting for my friend to stop.

    That is nowhere even remotely close to an admission of fault and it's not what you wrote in your first post.

    rakeshc:
    She accepted her fault in the beginning

    No, doesn't look that way to me.

    rakeshc:
    faked a neck injury almost instantaneously.

    How do you know it's faked. Are you a doctor? Did you give her a physical exam? Take X-rays?

    rakeshc:
    I am going to meet a lawyer on this issue.

    You're probably wasting your time, but go ahead if you want to.

    rakeshc:
    Assume that it is my friend's fault. The other friend Mr.Taxagent replied to this post saying that i have to pay out of my pocket because i let my friend (without license) drive it.

    That might or might not be correct depending on the exact wording of your policy. Read it.

    My own policy defines "Insured" to include any person using my covered auto with my permission. My policy doesn't say that the driver has to be licensed. So it's more than likely that your insurance company will pay the claim.

    However, an unlicensed driver is an underwriting issue that could cause your policy to be non-renewed if your state laws allow it. If not, at the very least, you will pay a lot more for your policy with this claim on your insurance record and your insurance record (CLUE Report) follows you throughout the insurance industry.

    rakeshc:
    Is there any way I can have the insurance company pay it rather than me. 

    It's either going to be covered or it's not going to be covered. If it's covered, your insurance company pays. If it's not covered, it doesn't.

    Which is not the same as deciding whether your friend was at fault. If your insurance company decides that your friend is not at fault, your insurance company will defend him. Or. as with typical car insurance, the insurance company could decide to pay even if he was not at fault. Insurance companies often do that on small claims to close them out and avoid litigation. It's allowed for in your policy.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 6:23 PM In reply to

    • Ford
      Lawyer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 16 2000
    • Posts 12,797

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    At a t-intersection, someone is normally going to have a stop sign.  Whoever does not have a stop sign has the right of way.

    If everyone has a stop sign, you normally yield to the person on the right.  It sounds like your friend didn't yield since he struck the left side of the other vehicle.  For some reason, WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE think the vehicle on the left has the right of way and that's not true, at least in my state.

  • Fri, Jun 17 2011 7:13 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
      Lawyer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 3 2000
    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    Re: What are my chances in my claim

    All you can do is submit it to your insurance company. But I would be very surprised if you are covered for damage incurred by an essentially unliscenced driver.

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