Who is liable for damages & rental car while mine is in shop.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 31, 2014

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Insurance Question from Charlotte, NC

Asked on 01/31/2014

Who is liable for damages & rental car while mine is in shop. My car was hit from behind while I was stopped at a red light by someone who claims he was also stopped & that he was hit from behind as well. He claims the other car hit & ran. No one else saw this Phantom vehicle. The rear of my car has $3000 damage & the front of his has about the same. Actually his car was deemed undriveable. However, he has no damage to the rear of his car. Seems impossible. Because he claimed hit & run the arriving Police officer says he has to write up accident report as a hit & run. Now his insurance is denying liability simply because repart said hit & run.

Answer given on February 13, 2014

When you are struck from behind, you are right to presume the driver of the car behind you is at fault.If you have collision coverage, you should let your insurance company handle the claim for damages to your car. Your deductible will apply from the beginning but if your insurance company can collect for the damages, your deductible will be reimbursed.If you can prove no damage to the other party’s car in the rear, that will defend your case with his insurance company and you can reapply for damages to your car. However, the insurance company can still deny coverage since the police report shows a third party who apparently left the scene.No matter how the claim settles out, you should not have a rate increase since you were rear ended and had no responsibility for the damages to your car. Make sure your insurance company agrees and settles this as a not at fault accident.

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