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Jul 16, 1997 08:15 PM
by Bart Lidofsky

A. Safron wrote:
> >       The damage to the other car door may show how much time you had to
> > stop, how fast you were going, etc. You might not have hit the door on
> > purpose, but you might not have been paying attention either (yes, WE
> > know you were paying attention, but the insurance company doesn't).
> >
> >       Bart Lidofsky
> Picture this, Bart.  A narrow two-lane side street with parked cars in either sides.
> On side has a large ice cream truck with kids buzzing around.  As I aproach
> north on said street, car insists on going south.  We are all sandwiched together,
> when suddenly, a the lady whose car is on my right decides that at that
> moment she just has to get a ice cream for her screaming 4-yr-old.  She opens her
> car door at the precise moment that I am trying to worm my way through this
> tight squeeze on the street.  The tip of my front hood hits the side of her door as she
> is opening it.  Kaboom!  Glass all over the street.  Her car door crumples up
> like and accordian.

	That should be good news for you; the fact that the door was just
opening as you hit it implies that you did not have time to stop.

> Who's a fault?  Was I supposed to be psychic and know she was to open her
> car door at that moment?  Should I have taken a different street?  SHould ice
> cream trucks be banned from parking?

	I take your word for it. The insurance company doesn't trust you as
much as I do.

> with the car owner's name and address on it (a man).  My guess is she was
> a Polish illegal, of which there are many in my neighborhood, being
> hired to watch someone's kid for low wages.  I'm really interested to see
> how this turns out, not from the insurance end, but from the legal part.
> The policeman I reported it to was practically salivating at my story.

	My daughter got my car smashed up real good. From her side of the
story, it seemed that she was 50% at fault. The insurance company
agreed, and offered to pay 50% of the damage to the other car, whose
driver didn't have collision insurance. The driver of the other car
wanted 100%, and sued. He, too, was Polish, spoke no English, and, on
the witness stand, told 3 radically different stories of how the
accident took place, and practically admitted that he had been drinking
before the accident. Result: my daughter won 100%, my insurance company
collected 100% from HIS insurance company, and I got back my deductible.

	In any case, it looks like the damage to the other car WILL back up
your story.

	But also note that:

	A) When you hit a car from behind, you are assumed at fault until
proven not at fault.

	B) If you hit a car that is to the left of you, you are assumed at
fault until proven not at fault.

	Bart Lidofsky

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