Insurance company saying the accident was my fault...

by Yama
(Los Angeles, CA)

I was traveling on Arlee Place heading East. An Auto Shop was on the right. When I saw the other car, the front half of the vehicle was inside the Auto Shop and the rear was sticking out of the shop. It was not moving at all so I proceeded driving forward. When I tried to pass the car, all of sudden I felt an impact on the passenger side of my car. The other vehicle had backed into my car.

After the accident, the driver went in the auto shop and made a copy of the Certificate of Insurance and gave it to me. He did not give me his name or address and drove off quickly after the accident.

After he left I went in the Auto Shop and spoke with an employee. He said the other driver's name was Mr. A, and that he didn't own the car he was just driving. It belonged to Mr.A's customer. That was when I realized Mr. A, the other driver, left without giving me his contact information.

The shop employee said that day was the first time Mr. A came to their shop. So they did not know Mr. A's full name or where he works. (After few weeks later, I found Mr. A's information from my insurance company.)

Current accident status:

My car was damaged on the passenger side front fender, side door, and a little bit scratched on the rear fender. (I did not have any front bumper damage at all.) The other car's rear bumper was sheared off.

The car owner's insurance company tried to tell me that "you hit Mr.A's car."
If I hit his car, that car would have been damaged in the rear and towed away with my car. What can I do about this? The other car's owner's insurance company is obviously wrong, or lying. I think they're trying to pull one over on me. Is there anything I can do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Insurance company saying the accident was my fault...":

Yama (Los Angeles, CA):

Call your own insurance company and report the accident. You have a contractual duty to notify your insurance company when an accident occurs. This is the case whether you believe you were at fault or not.

Your insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to the claim. The adjuster will track down the driver and owner of the car, and will thoroughly investigate the collision. From the facts you present the other driver was clearly at fault.

The owner of the other car is responsible for the collision even if someone else was driving his or her car. It's likely the owner's insurance company will pay for your damages. Then the owner's insurance company will turn around and "subrogate" the claim against the driver of the vehicle, and possibly the shop where the car was being serviced. This means the owner's insurance company will likely sue (or pursue) the driver's insurance company and possibly the service shop's owner.

You likely have nothing to worry about. Turn the matter over to your insurance company and let them "do their thing." If the accident is adjudged to be the fault of the other driver your insurance company will not hold the claim against you.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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