I was stopped at a red light when my car was rear ended. The driver of that car came over immediately and apologized. There were two impacts, that one and then another right away. Apparently a pickup truck struck her. Now her insurance company is denying liability, and the pickup is uninsured. What do I do to make the insurance company for the one who hit me first acknowledge fault?
The problem is that if an insurance company can find any reason to bring in another insurance company, they will for no reason other than that than they’ll save money by forcing another insurance company to share paying on the claim.
Double impact car accidents force insurance claims adjusters into another mode of operation in which they automatically think this way. They know that under the valid legal theories of contributory negligence and comparative fault, any actual damages they are required to pay you will be reduced and passed on to someone else. It makes no difference that another party is uninsured, a portion of the insurance company’s potential payout is passed off to someone else. The complexity of this situation is why a car accident lawyer needs to step in more often than not to help the claimants.
Apportionment of Fault in Double Impact Car Accidents
Complex motor vehicle accident claims often invoke such apportionment of fault ideas. I’ve sat through hours of depositions in which insurance attorneys grill drivers about whether their foot was on the brake, are they sure it was on the brake, were they changing the CD, texting or otherwise not paying full 100% attention to the precise details of operating their vehicle and exactly what the other cars were doing in the seconds before a crash.
This is why witness statements are crucial. In the facts of your case it can only be hoped that the driver who rear-ended you also admitted fault to the police, in their own accident report, if they filed one, or at least said it out loud and an independent third party heard it. There may be other evidence in skid marks, collision damage and elsewhere confirming what actually happened in your double impact car accident.
If you are making an injury claim the only sensible thing is to retain an attorney to push aggressively on your behalf.
If your only damage is property damage to your car, make the claim through your own company. Since you were legally stopped at a red light you have zero liability and should not even have to pay your deductible. Let your company pay the full amount of your loss, then go after the other parties for reimbursement.
Here’s more information on apportionment of fault law and complex car accident cases: click here.