What's Next? Willing to settle at 80/20. Mine found 0% fault

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Latest post Wed, Nov 16 2016 6:02 AM by Tommy1989. 5 replies.
  • Tue, Nov 1 2016 3:12 PM

    What's Next? Willing to settle at 80/20. Mine found 0% fault

    Hello, hoping to get some clarification with claims processes as this is my first accident. 

    The accident: I was driving down a two-way lane after getting off a round-about. There was another vehicle on the other side attempting to make a 3-point turn (K-turn) into my lane. I had an inflow of traffic behind me and he had none behind him. He was making his "second" point where he had backed up into his lane to give him room to merge into mine. Thinking he was giving me the right of way, I had continued down my lane. It is at this point that he finished his "third" point and the accident happened. His front passenger bumper struck my driver's side door. I had tried to turn away as far to the right as possible, as there was some room from a bicycle lane before a row of parked cars. I should also mention that our lanes were separated by a DOUBLE pair of yellow solid lines, with a painted "barrier" between them. I'm not sure about NYC, but my research told me this should be consider a solid barrier in other states, making the 3-point illegal. My vehicle ended up getting a nice dent on the door (~$1,700) and he got a scratch on a luxury car (unknown $). Nobody was hurt. I was still pretty shook up and felt at fault from the guy's "Where did you come from?" statements. So, my first mistake was not filing a police report (someone on the street also mentioned it would take a few hours for them to make it there and I was in a hurry). My second mistake was waiting to file a claim since the guy insisted we don't go through insurance as my damage looked to be under a couple hundred dollars (I know nothing about fixing cars). Nonetheless, we swapped numbers and insurance information. 

    A month later, I called the guy explaining to him my quotes and asked if he still was still willing to keep insurance out of it. He refused to pay for anything, and insisted I should be paying for his damage as well.. I filed a claim through his insurance (Electric). After a long process, they found him at fault and are willing to settle at 80/20, the 20% being that I could have let him go first to avoid the accident even if it was an illegal turn (they didn't seem sure). My insurance company (StateFarm) made it clear that this would still be considered a no-fault accident on my part and my rates will not go up. This was before he filed a claim against my insurance as well. StateFarm did their own investigation and found him 100% at fault. 

    My two options now are to settle for the 80/20 or have the two insurance companies fight over the 20%, possibly leading to arbitration where a third party will get involved. 

    I understand how my damages will be covered in either case. a) I settle and pay 20% out of pocket or b) Statefarm pays everything but my deductible ($1000) and reimburses me for whatever % of fault I'm found at later.

    What I don't understand is, who is responsible for his damage in either case? Am I still going to have an at-fault accident on my record if I settle for the 80/20 now that he filed a claim against me as well? 

    Any other recommendations are appreciated! I'm not sure if there's an obvious path to take here..

    Thanks in advance!

  • Tue, Nov 1 2016 4:07 PM In reply to

    Re: What's Next? Willing to settle at 80/20. Mine found 0% fault

    TreeMeister:
    my first mistake was not filing a police report

    Don't beat yourself up too much.  You could not have "fil[ed] a police report."  Only the police can "fil[e] a police report," and a lot of police agencies won't even bother with coming to the scene of a non-injury accident in which neither vehicle is disabled.

     

    TreeMeister:
    What I don't understand is, who is responsible for his damage in either case?

    Until and unless a court says otherwise, he is, subject to whatever duties his insurer may owe him if he carries first party coverage (i.e., collision coverage).

     

    TreeMeister:
    Am I still going to have an at-fault accident on my record if I settle for the 80/20 now that he filed a claim against me as well?

    You said your insurer denied the claim, so no, unless someone sues and the court determines you were at-fault.

  • Tue, Nov 1 2016 6:46 PM In reply to

    Re: What's Next? Willing to settle at 80/20. Mine found 0% fault

    TreeMeister:
    My two options now are to settle for the 80/20 or have the two insurance companies fight over the 20%, possibly leading to arbitration where a third party will get involved. 

    You have a third option.

    Sue the other driver in small claims court and convince the judge that he is 100% at fault. Get a judgment in your favor and his insurance company will have to pay 100%.

    It's remotely possible that, once he reports the lawsuit to his insurance company, the insurance company will reconsider rather than going through the hassle and cost of representing him in a lawsuit. No guarantees there but it's possible.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Thu, Nov 3 2016 7:46 AM In reply to

    Re: What's Next? Willing to settle at 80/20. Mine found 0% fault

    Thanks for the reply!

    As mentioned, my insurance assured me that I will not have an at-fault accident on my record and my rates will not go up if I decide to settle with the 80/20. Would I risk losing this advantage if I take this to a small claims court or let the insurances battle over the 20%? I guess my question is, will the battle be over the settlement amount or fault? Do I risk being found at-fault with options 2 and 3 and have rates go up/cover part of his damages as well as mine?

  • Thu, Nov 3 2016 12:12 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,417

    Re: What's Next? Willing to settle at 80/20. Mine found 0% fault

    Generally settlement offers don't prejudice and are not admissible in a court action ...and often the offer comes off the table if you seek court action. 

    Ask adjusterjack for a better read on practical issues .

     

    80% bird in hand may beat 100% of unknown bird in bush ...especially if SC actions are not your cup of tea....



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