Question I was stopped at a traffic light light other vehicles in front had not moved yet, when vehicle hit me from behind. A fairly hard hit since I was not moving. 3 persons in my vehicle 2 persons in rear vehicle. Police and FD came no major injuries. The rear driver after 20 min. has claimed a black vehicle pushed him into me but no vehicle or skid marks and extremely minor if any new damage to his plastic rear bumper. His passenger claimed a red vehicle pushed them into us his wife. and left the scene. Myself and my passengers saw now other vehicle. Now insurance 3party is claiming if their is another vehicle that pushed them they are not paying for repairs on my 2012 vehicle. The damage is not major 975.00 to my vehicle but I feel it is wrong to receive payment from my company which I have a 500 deductible to receive 475.00 which is not enough to repair my vehicle when I was not at fault. Is there some law releasing the rear driver from liability if pushed from a vehicle that can not be produced and damage on their rear bumper that can not show substantial amount of damage to show being pushed several feet forward to cause the damage on my vehicle. Should I peruse this directly to the owner via small claims court ?
Answer The situation you are in is not as uncommon as you may think. At least in my career, it was rare for people to openly admit an accident was their fault. I guess people just have a hard time taking responsibility nowadays. Frankly, there is nothing you or I can do about what somebody else claims happened. In fact, I bet I could show you some documentary films about eyewitness accounts that will have you questioning what you yourself saw. The mind is a funny thing. Anyway, the point is there is nothing you can do but give your side of the story. If you feel like you have enough evidence to prove that it is more likely that they rear ended you than it is that the minor damage on the rear of the bumper is evidence they were pushed. I think you may have to get a jury or judge involved.
I have been in court many times when the other side pointed to an "empty chair" alleging the accident was the fault of "John Doe". If there is not enough evidence to name a third party, you can normally argue before the trial and sometimes the judge will not allow a third party to be named. You'd likely need an attorney to navigate your case, but I've seen people do it on their own in small claims court. It's really a personal choice. I would be surprised if you get any satisfaction outside of a judgment.
I hope this sheds some light on the scenario for you, and I'm sorry it wasn't better news.
Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.
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AllExperts.com (Auto Insurance Expert)
Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)
Publications 10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research.
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Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".
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All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008)
TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)
Past/Present Clients State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.