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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 113493
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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On March 3rd i was taking my daughter to see a movie - while

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On March 3rd i was taking my daughter to see a movie - while we were looking for a parking space a car backed out into my car. I did not see the car, if I did i would have waited for the space as i was seeking a parking space. The short of the story is that she later manufactured a witness that said I saw her car backing out and went around her car. My claim was denied citing MD 1% contributory rule. My insurance coverage is limited to liability only. What are my chances if I take her to court?
Thank you for your question and for asking for me to answer you. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

What state are you in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Maryland

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately, Maryland is one of the 5 states that uses the antiquated contributory negligence standard as a complete bar to recovery in any negligence claim. Thus, in order to get recovery in court you will have to argue and prove there is no way for her witness to know what you saw or did not see (which is fairly easy, since it is virtually impossible for anyone to tell you what you saw). Furthermore, in court you would show by the location of impact on your car that you could not have seen her backing out and it was her duty to back out of the space safely combined with the fact you were looking for a space to park would generally be sufficient to defeat her defense in court. Since you were looking to park it is presumed you would be more diligent in looking for cars leaving and as such it supports you did not likely see her backing out and she evidently was not looking for you.



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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Her witness claimed that i saw her backing out and chose to go around instead of waiting and the insurance company used her statement as a reason to site the MD 1% rule - what role, if any, will the insurance denial of my claim based on the 1% rule have on my case? I can claim that the witness cannot say what i saw and did not see but will that be enough - in addition, can i ask for court cost?

Thank you for your response.

Of course I cannot evaluate credibility of testimony or evidence in this forum, however, witnesses can say anything, but you had the right of way and she had the duty to stop to allow you to pass. Had you hit her vehicle while trying to go around her she may have an argument, but if you were proceeding straight ahead and she was backing out of the space, she had the duty to let you pass. The insurance company sounds like they are likely in bad faith looking at any reason to deny responsibility to pay for the damages, so that is not unusual that they would make up a reason to deny payment of your claim.

Her witness cannot claim to know what you did or did not see. You can claim that the evidence does not prove this and as such the insurance company is in bad faith which would entitle you to court costs and potentially even punitive damages for them being in bad faith.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your responses. One more question:

My car year is 1977 – the possibility that the
damage to the car is greater than the cost of the car is feasible – In MD if this is so the insurance company will not pay to fix the vehicle but rather pay the blue book value of the car. Can I sue her for the estimated cost to fix my car or will I have to limit my claim to the blue book value? The windshield, a mirror and the passenger doors were damaged in the accident

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Friendly reminder that i am waiting for a response to my last question posted @4:06pm regarding dollar amount.

Thank you for your response. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you, but as stated above we are working with multiple customers at the same time and they all want and deserve the same attention as you do. Thank you for your continued patience.

I am afraid that in a property damage claim, you are entitled to the actual amount of the damage or if that amount of damage is greater than 75% of the value of the vehicle they will only give you book value of the vehicle (known as totaling the vehicle). You cannot sue the driver/owner for anything more than that and generally what the insurance pays is all you can recover from anyone in the accident on a property damage claim.
Law Educator, Esq. and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your expert advice - you have given me information that will help me decide how to move forward. I will definately take your advice into consideration. Again, thank you for our time.