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How to handle this parking lot accident

by Dale

Recently I got a phone call from one of my son's coworkers parents. Advising me that my son tagged the parents sons car in a parking lot.

They have gotten an estimate and tell me it's $2000. I would like to avoid a claim and they said they would work with me. That's probably because the cars book value is less and insurance will total it.

Problem is, it happened 6 weeks ago. I question the damage. I looked at the car with my son and some of the damage could not be from my son's car.

It doesn't line up and there is no evidence on my son's car. Should I expect to have to pay the entire amount? I have read something about parking lots and a 50/50 rule.


Hello Dale,

There is not a 50% rule for parking lot accident, at least not for fault in parking lots. There is 50% -50% split negligence laws in certain states that could apply to you, but without knowing your state, it Is very hard to say.

Usually, parking lot accidents are “split negligence” as there is very little speed and both drivers have enhanced duties (you are backing; therefore you should look and be extra careful).

This is not always the case, but negligence is often found on both drivers. To learn more about fault and how fault is asses, visit:

Some states completely bar everyone from recovery at 50%. Some others will only do that at 51% or more. Some states are Pure Negligence which means everyone pays each others negligence.

Depending on the facts of the accident (need to ask your son), you might have to pay them 100% or something less. Remember, it is possible that if your son is not 100%,t hen they have to pay you for damages whatever they are at fault for.

If you are wary about damages and fault, you can negotiation and give them half. You can argue that if they do not then you will turn it into insurance.

Insurance companies are much harder to deal with and they will do an investigation on both state regulation (they know what they have to pay and what they do not) and on identifying what damages are and are not related.

If the damages they are presenting to you show that the car is a total loss, you should not pay them. You should pay the fair market values of the car in exchange for the title.

You have several options, but you should think about talking to your insurance company (do not worry about the 6 months gap, you just learned about the situation).

I hope this helps,

Good Luck

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