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Complaint 19 of 20 in "Fault and No-Fault Issues"
Insurance Carrier: Geico
My car has been hit by a truck from the back after we stopped our car on the road as the car in front of us has stopped suddenly. It is clearly understandable that it is the fault of the truck who hit is from the back, even the police report clearly states that the truck has lost control and hit us from the back..but when we tried to claim, our insurance company says that it's the fault of our drive. They say this on the basis of eyewitnesses who were behind the truck which hit us. One can easily understand that eyewitnesses have lied if they said that it's our fault because the truck has hit us from the back. All the fault we did was to stop our vehicle to avoid collision with vehicle ahead of us and we never changed the lanes. When contacted my insurance company, it says that it's our fault and they say they have settled the claim of the truck who smashed our car from thr back and the truck driver was the person who was apologizing to us at the site of the accident when it occured. How should I proceed now? Help me out in this regard.
Insurance Expert Answer:
This makes little sense to us too, and all we can say is that in normal rear-end collisions the driver who hit from behind is responsible.
IF you have collision insurance your company should bear the costs of repairs of your vehicle regardless of whose fault the accident was -- even if the accident was your fault.
If you do not have collision insurance your company owes you nothing to fix the car (except possibly under an uninsured motorists provision, and that depends on fault). If the other driver was at fault, then he is liable to you for his negligence and he or his insurance company should pay to fix your car, and for any personal injury sustained. If they don't, you may have to get a lawyer and sue them. If you are both at fault, in most states the driver less at fault collects a portion of the damages; in a few states any fault precludes recovery.
Why your insurance company paid the other driver is beyond me. Of course I was not there and there may have been special circumstances or the witnesses may have claimed it was your fault, but given the police report this seems unlikely unless someone caused them to fabricate a story.
Get a lawyer. While most lawyers will not handle a pure property damage claim on a contingency basis -- there generally is not enough money in it to make it worth while -- spending a few hundred to a thousand dollars for advice, and perhaps a "lawyers letter" seems worthwhile. Our www.AttorneyPages.com lists many car accident lawyers in you state.