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Bumper to Bumper
I was parked at a convenience store with parking space on both sides. front and back of one another. I checked several times before backing out and did not see any cars in the way. I was in a rental car ( Hyndai Elantra) out of town.
I looked down just long enough to put my purse on the floor and take a sip of soda. I backed out and bumper into another car, a 2004 Impala. Her car had a few scuff marks mine had a black scratch maybe one half inch long. The issue is I believe she was pulling out at the same time but want to make it my fault.
I was not completely out of the parking space and was already about to put the car into drive. That's how little space I needed to maneuver. By the time I got out of the car she had already completely pulled out and was already in the position of leaving. There had to have been about seven or eight feet of space between the two spaces after backing out. The is no way I could have hit her if she was in the parking space totally.
However I called the rental co. Who instructed me to give her my info and the info from my rental agreement. I did and also took photos of her bumper and mine and of the parking lot distance. She Left without providing me with so much as her name.
Now I have received a claim letter in the mail for the rental co. telling me my insurance would have to cover. So first of all, if it was my fault why wouldn't the co. pay. Secondly how could I prove it was not my fault by the skid marks made on the bumper if he police was not called? Should I contact my insurance company if I do not believe it was my fault and shouldn't I have her info as well?
Parking lot accidents are difficult to argue and settle . Usually, there is liability on both drivers are both drivers in a parking lot have “enhanced” duties to look out. You say that you were paying attention but you looked down and took a zip of your soda. This can be construed as “liability” against you. The issue here is going to be who was out of the stall and who was not. However, it is possible that even if you were out 100%, you failed to see a car backing (as you did not honk).
I am just brining this up because an adjuster probably will. The other party has responsibility on this also, so their insurance company must be involved for damages to your rental. Make sure you provide the pictures and see if you can get a video on that parking lot (depending on what store you were at). Nowadays, stores have surveillance video. It is possible that you can show that you were completely out and she came and hit you.
Regarding the rental car issue.
Your insurance company will have to cover you if they provide coverage for “non-owned vehicles.” Most polices do, but some do not. Also, your insurance company will have to see the “rental” agreement or the “loaner” agreement to see if you purchase insurance (collision damage waiver) or not. If you did not, they (your insurance) has to pay. If you did purchase this waiver, then the rental car company has to pay (for the damages to the rental car) and not the damages to the other car (if you are at fault).
I hope this helps,
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