Issue: Is an insured/carrier liable for my property's damage if a hit and run caused the insured to damage my property?
Location: Los Angeles CA.
Hello! Thanks in advance for reading! A car hit my real property, damaging a retaining wall, walkway, and staircase. I've gotten 2 written bids from licensed contractors, each are about $10,000. I contacted the car's insurance carrier, they say their investigation isn't complete as yet, but that their driver says he was sideswiped (hit and run) causing him to hit my property, and purportedly there is a scrape along the left rear of the vehicle to back their contention of contact from another vehicle, so they are telling me that their position will be that they are not responsible for my damage. When I pressed for a code citation
or case to justify their position, they said CA Civil Code 1714, their argument being that their insured did not willfully damage my property. What is your opinion, please? Is an insured/carrier liable for my property's damage if a hit and run caused the insured to damage my property? What code citation or case would you point to?
Of course, I contend that I don't care how or why the insured damaged my property, I want to be made whole. I could file a claim with my property's carrier, but I would then have to eat a $5000 deductible, and for certain my rate will go up. My carrier could subrogate against the car's carrier but it will take time (a year?), and my carrier would need to prevail for me to get my deductible back. Not sure, but I doubt, that my higher premium comes back down.
Thank you for your time and courtesy in responding!