Truck backed into my car in a public parking lot...

by Rani
(Elizabethtown, NC)

As I was leaving a parking lot, I was fully out of my parking space when I saw a truck backing out, with the gate of the truck open and coming towards my car. I was stopped, putting my car in drive to leave. I blew my horn three times and yelled.

The truck was much bigger then my car, and it continued to back up, eventually hitting the driver's side of my car, right underneath my side mirror. I was going left and I guess the truck was preparing to go right. Can you please tell me who is at fault in this situation? What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Truck backed into my car in a public parking lot...":

Rani (Elizabethtown, NC):

There is no clear answer to your question. In most cases involving parking lot collisions, liability is difficult to determine. There aren't any traffic signals, yield signs, or other devices to control traffic. Moreover, unless there are injuries, the police won't be dispatched. As a result, there won't be a police report indicating fault.

In these cases, the question of liability usually falls to the insurance company claims adjusters. Because the state of North Carolina is not a no-fault insurance state, liability falls upon who they determine is the at-fault driver.

If you haven't already done so, report the accident to your insurance company. You can be sure the company doesn't want to pay any money to the truck driver.

Be sure to immediately file a claim with the truck driver's insurance company as well. Because liability is questionable, your insurance company will likely not agree to pay the truck driver's claim until after an investigation.

In addition, go to the Elizabethtown Police Department and secure an accident report form. The form is separate from a police report. Complete the form, while indicating you were not at fault. Make sure you send a copy of the accident report to the truck driver's insurance company, as well as your own.

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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