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stevewlaw
stevewlaw, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 207
Experience:  25+ years and millions of dollars in settlements in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and commercial matters.
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I got in a small accident in February of this year and I got

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I got in a small accident in February of this year and I got accused of at fault and they claimed bodily injury. Is it too late to fight it?

stevewlaw :

Hi [USERNAME], my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do the best to help you. My advice is general only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Good afternoon my friend. I am so sorry to hear about the accident. It would be helpful if I knew if the police took a report, if you were cited by the police as being "at fault", and the basic facts of the accident. Unfortunately, however, your insurance company does not need your permission to honor the claim of the alleged injured party, and they can go ahead and settle that claim without your permission if they deem you to be at fault themselves.

stevewlaw :

Did you give a recorded statement to your insurance company?

Customer:

I called them when it happened and told them what had happened and that I did not believe it was my fault. They went back and forth with the other insurance company and came back to me and said they were saying it was my fault and they claimed injury, which I find it impossible when the speed of the accident was under 5 mph because it happened pulling out of a parking spot. I just want to see if you think it is a good idea to fight it.

stevewlaw :

Generally what happens is that the insurance company will get your side of the story, any police report if available, and the other side's story (if they voluntarily provide the statement unless they have "lawyered up" - most lawyers will not allow their clients to provide recorded statements - I never did). After getting all of the facts, your insurance company will make up its own mind about fault and handle the claim(s) accordingly.

stevewlaw :

So I take it you were backing out of a parking lot under 5 mph and struck the other vehicle, is that right?

stevewlaw :

If your insurance company got all the facts including your version of the accident and decided that you were at fault, you are unlikely to change their mind. You also cannot contest the claim on your own because as I said earlier, unfortunately you do not have that power under your policy. They can handle the claim as they see fit and basically don't need your permission for anything. You can urge them not to pay anything on the claim because its pretty unlikely that someone could be injured in a vehicle in an under 5 mph accident, but that is their call.

stevewlaw :

I am sorry to say that in the end, you have no right to contest the claim so long as you are presenting it to your insurance company. Under your policy language, they get to call all the shots.

Customer:

Yes. I checked mirrors looked over the shoulder. I even have back up sensors in my car that notify me if someone or something is there. Nothing happened so I proceeded to back up. And then we hit. If anything we should both be at fault because we were backing up at the same time. I just didn't know if it would be smart to call them back up and fight it.

stevewlaw :

I am sorry to be the bearer of the bad news, but as I said above, your insurance carrier gets to call all the shots. You have nothing to fight and no power.

Customer:

Ok. So even getting a lawyer to try and fight it, you don't suggest that?

stevewlaw :

I don't suggest that because there is really nothing you can do. If you had no insurance and were able to make this decision on your own, I would suggest to fight it but that is not the case. I am sorry.

Customer:

Ok. That makes sense. Thank you for your help.

stevewlaw :

you are quite welcome. Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

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