Q: Rear ended the other car backing up while parking and his insurance claims that both are responsible for damages. Why?
I was recently involved in a Car accident at the University drive way where the other car backing up while parking on my way of lane. We shared our insurance info right after - no police involved. His rear end and mine front driver end, but his insurance company claims that in VA if both vehicles are in motion at the time of accident, both parties shares individual damages. My insurance says I was not at fault because he hindered my drive while backing up in a one lane drive way. Any thing you can suggest? His part does not have damages but my driver front side has a big dent and I do not think I should pay for the damages. What are the ways so that his insurance pays for my damages?
A: I do not know which insurance company it is with which you are dealing, but their explanation of the liability is inadequate at best. Virginia is a contributory negligence state, which means that you have a claim against the other driver if you have not contributed to the fault in the accident in any way. If it is their position that you have contributed by driving down the parking aisle, then they should be able to state, with specificity the action that you took which they feel was negligent. Then you can address that item. Additionally, the unfair claims practices act in Virginia (and in other states) requires that any denial of liability include the reason for that denial. HOWEVER, if the car in front of you was in control of the lane and then began backing, you may have a very tough battle. If, however, the other driver was backing INTO your lane of travel, you should be OK.
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