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Parking accident. 50/50?

by Jessica

My husband went into a shopping center a couple weeks ago, in a truck that we had just purchased. I was driving right behind him when the accident occurred. He was searching for an available parking space when this car just rammed into the front end of his bumper. From what I could see (which was plenty), the other driver had backed out of his parking spot so fast he gave my husband no reaction time whatsoever.

Immediately we could tell the other driver was a little buzzed. On top of that, he had a suspended driver's license and an expired policy on his insurance.

The only reason we didn't call the police was because my husband is on probation and could get his license revoked if he became part in ANY incident of any type, so we were afraid this could jeopardize my husband's status in this country (another story). Besides, the driver agreed to cooperate with us and declare himself completely liable.

Anywhoo. We contacted our insurance agent right away. This being our first incident, we were clueless on what to do. After putting us on hold for about 20 minutes, our agent got back to us just to tell us to contact claims services, which we did right away.

A few days later, our adjuster called to tell us that this was a 50/50 case. We were so not ok with that. How could this be a 50/50 case when the driver backed up so fast into a truck so tall it was impossible to miss?

When I asked her how the decision was made, she said it had been based solely on both driver's recorded statements. I asked her why no one had bothered to take my version of the events, even when my husband had clearly stated that I had been a witness.

I also asked if she had received the pictures I e-mailed her, or taken a look at the place where the accident occurred, or inquired about any video footage from the surveillance cameras in the shopping center. She couldn't answer any of my questions, and said she would have them directed to her supervisor.

My question is, how thoroughly do these claim adjusters investigate each case, and why are they so eager to declare every case a 50/50 case? Isn't it much easier for them to declare the other driver liable, when all our evidence, that they didn't even bother to look at, proves exactly that? Why is my insurance advocating for the other driver?


Hello Jessica,

Parking lots are difficult because usually both drivers have responsibility. Car should not be driving at more than 5 mph in any given parking lot, at which speed, stopping is not hard (unless you don’t have brakes, or are not paying enough attention to see the other driver's back up lights and tail lights).

Adjusters must look at independent evidence, which is why your testimony is not very reliable (you will advocate for your husband). The point of impact is to the front of your car (front bumper) which does not look well for your husband. This means that the vehicle was in front of him (even a split second) and thus he had to be in a position to avoid the collision. If the damage was to the rear of the truck, then your argument would have been valid.

The adjuster must only advocate for you when the undisputed facts are not clear or they are open to different interpretation. This may or may not be the case here. Please see more about fault here and

Regarding not calling the police. Well, this was a mistake. Although you have reasons why you did not want to do it, the arguments regarding alcohol and no insurance probably will no help you without a police report.

I hope this helps

Good Luck,
Auto Insurance Claim Advice
Spokane Washington

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