Ask an Attorney a Question for FREE!

Determining fault in an automobile property damage only claim going to arbitration

by Benjamin
(Spring Valley NY USA )

I was involved in an automobile accident property damage only claim on 1/4/10. THE POLICE WERE NOT CALLED SO THERE IS NO POLICE REPORT. I filed a claim with the other driver's insurance company (Metropolitan Life) and they refuse to pay saying the accident was 100% my fault. So I filed a claim with my own insurance company(Liberty Mutual) and they paid my collision claim less my deductible.

Liberty Mutual asked the other company to pay and they refused and also filed a claim with Liberty Mutual for damage to their insured's auto. So Liberty Mutual file for arbitration with Arbitration Forum and it is set to go to arbitration soon.

I am particularly concerned about this case as I already have a chargeable accident on my record and if this accident is found to be my fault my premiums will really go sky high. So I am asking for help in objectively determining fault in this incident and who is likely to win the arbitration and what factors the arbitrator will render in his or her decision.

Also since I have not been given access to the other party's statement or damages I don't know all the facts the arbitrator will be working with. I filed a complaint with my state's insurance department regarding this and the complaint is pending.

Here are the facts as I see them. I was driving east on State Route 59 in Rockland County NY when I had a flat tire.

I decided to try and move slowly to get the car to a place where I could have the tire changed or fixed. So I pulled into the shoulder lane which existed at this point and was moving forward slowly with my hazard flashers on. I was approaching the driveway entrance of Spring Valley High School and I was hit in the front left corner by a driver trying to turn into the high school.

We both stopped after the accident and the other driver came over to me and said "Did I hit you? I'm sorry? I'll be back". She then drives away from the scene without exchanging information and I'm waiting for her to come back.

I foolishly did NOT decide to call the police. After about 10 minutes she walks back without her vehicle and then proceeds to exchange information. So the question is Who's fault was the accident and do you need any additional information to answer this question.

Please let me know if you need other information or wish to give me other relevant information to this subject. Thank you for help in this matter.



Hello Benjamin,
Interesting set of circumstances.

Well, every state has duties on disabled vehicles and how such vehicle must exist the road. Please check your state laws on that point (traffic or motor vehicles section).

Fault is an interesting concept and it depends on both drivers duties to avoid the accident. Those duties are attributed to you by code and by concepts of law, please see:

Your situation is rather difficult because there are not witnesses and there is no police report. It will leave this situation in a word v. word situation, and depending how compelling the damages are (and statements), you may or may not prevail in arbitration. For more on arbitration, please see:

Also, check our pages on claim investigation, there you can find how evidence should be collected for a strong case in arbitration.

I hope this helps

Good Luck,
Auto Insurance Claim Advice
Spokane Washington

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Got Questions?.

Please see more answers to recent personal injury and auto accident questions below:

For a Free Review of Your Case
Please Call (866) 878-2432