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Am I required to pay for all damages even though I did not create all the damages?
I don't have insurance since it was cancelled because I didn't have the money to pay up. The other driver had uninsured motorist coverage.
I got into a minor accident on the freeway. I was at a complete stop due to a car with their hazard lights on. So I made a left lane change, after doing the usual: blinker, look over shoulder, mirrors. Then suddenly a car came out of nowhere and was also changing lanes to the right. So we both ran into each other on the same lane, except lucky her, she got ahead of me several feet so my left corner hit her right fender. Now, our initial impact was just that (very minor. can't really see it). But then she signaled to go to the emergency lane, and instead of driving around my car, she drove AGAINST my car. That decision she made ended up creating a long scratch against the side of her car. When I spoke to her, she even told me "Because you did not move or back up, the scratches were made."
Now. I made a fail move in talking to her claim adjuster while sobbing and very upset. She asked me a very suggestive question and said "so are you saying YOU caused the accident?" I was very unsure but I ended up saying "i dont know... i guess so...?" But when I spoke to the claim adjuster, I left out the information about the girl driving against my car after the initial hit because I was just really upset.
When I try to give the claim adjuster additional information a couple of days later with the girl's statement to me, her claim adjuster was very rude to me and very condescending. Throughout the conversation, I was polite and distraught. The claim adjuster said it doesn't matter what I say anymore, that she is not going to do anything with the additional information, and that they are going to pursue me for the damages. I was very upset and distraught after that conversation.
The police report said I was at fault for making an unsafe lane change. I don't see how they didn't say that about her. On the report, they said she saw me stopped on the road. The report did not say anything about the scratch marks.
So now I am stuck on what to do. I don't have a car insurance to investigate on my behalf and no one to negotiate for me. I am deathly scared to speak to the other driver's insurance since the last one was extremely rude. They sent me a demand letter asking me to pay the whole thing, about $1,700. That doesn't sound much to others, but I have financial issues to begin with. I am willing to pay for the fender bender, but I do not want to pay for the scratches that I believe were the other driver's fault. Now these are my questions:
1) Am I required to pay her car insurance for all the damages just because of what I said in my statement (and left out information) and the police report? Her car insurance didn't say anything about taking me to court, at least, not yet.
2) What happens if I don't respond to the letter or not pay anything?
I am sorry to hear about your situation. Well, you don't have insurance so they will not be much sympathy for you. You could see if you can go to court and argue the case. Small claims and/or hiring a lawyer may be the way to go for you. Please see: http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/small-claims-court.html
I hope this helps.
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