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Who's at fault in this pkg accident

by laurent merdy
(arlington va)

I arrive to a cvs parking, I didn't park correctly so i back up, but stop at this moment then i can see someone backing across me 2 parking away, she was backing so fast that I just press my honk but I couldn't believe she never take a look when she back I could see everything with my left outside mirror.

I stop the car where it happen, so she came out and tell me that we both backing up, and I look at her and tell here that my cr was not moving i was going to get my car park at this point and she was pretty sorry and know that I was right, but of course no witness no police report.

We call the insurance company and find out that we have the same and here she tell them that she denied everything when she was so nice to me telling me sorry about it, her car doesn't have much damage may be $120 to change the cover of the light on the left side back but she hit me pretty hard.

I'm concern about my body on a back it is not a big things but it always cost a lot to fix it is on a back left of my car, the company never send no one to check anything, she hit me i didn't it her as I was in action to go back to the parking but of course no prove because of no witness, the company ask me to pay my 500$ deductible but I don't want because she hit me first,

I’m afraid they will try to go with a 50/50,thats not fair has I could see her baking up i press my honk but she was not watching or listening as well, I was on stop position but didn't have a chance to get to my parking spot fast enough she was already hitting me pretty good, anyway

What do you think about it any advice will be nice thank you.


Hello Laurent,

Your sense is probably correct. It is not what happened, but you can prove happened. Without a police report and/or and independent witness, chances are that you will end up in some kind of litigation or arbitration.

As you explained, it seems as she was not following the proper duties of a driver, please see our notes on fault here:

Two things come to mind in your situation

1. Do have your vehicle inspected. There might be little or no damage, even if things are expensive to fix. Usually, parking lot accidents occurred at lower speeds, which lead to lesser damages. You might be getting very stressed out over no damages or little damages. If you know there is obvious damages (you can see the back of your car smashed), then disregard this paragraph.

2. Often times (very often), when a “dual carrier policy” exits (both cars have the same insurance company), the deductibles are waived for both parties. It is an exception in many policies, but adjusters often forget (if they are indeed in your policy). Make sure your adjuster checks this.

3. Even if there is a word to word dispute, the insurance company must split the files. Two different adjusters must evaluate the claim (one for your and one for the other party). Even if there is no witness/police report, a determination on fault can be made based on the damages left by both vehicles.

4. Your big problem is most likely on the Virginia Law. In the case of Baskett v. Banks, 45 S.E.2d 173 (Va. 1947). A pure contributory approach was enacted. This means that if you are 1% at fault for the accident, then you cannot recover for any of your damages (the other 99%). This might have been changed, but you are going to have to check with a lawyer and your adjuster. You need to find out if slight negligence will bar any and all recovery.

5. Even if (4) applies (which we do not know), if the dual policy deductible waiver exists, the insurance company might extend coverage to you.

I hope this helps,

Good Luck,

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