How Is A Dump Truck Crashing Into My Parked Car My Fault?

Somewhere in upstate New York, a mysterious dump truck rolled down a hill, hitting Jennifer’s partner’s vehicle and one other car. While it’s wonderful that no one was hurt, now the incident has turned into a consumer issue. The truck owner’s insurance company doesn’t want to accept fault for the incident, leaving Jennifer’s partner to file a claim against his own meager insurance. How, she wonders, can they fight back?

My partners Subaru was parked in a lot when a dump truck came barreling down a hill and slammed into two parked cars, squashing them. Since it was a dump truck, it was filled with dirt and rocks, many which flew through the air and landed in my partners car, thrusting it 12 feet forward, breaking his back window, dashboard window, denting his bumper and hatch, and filling his car with 2 feet of dirt.

The dump trucks insurance company is trying to claim “no fault” and does not want to pay for my partners rental car, or the storage of his vehicle while it is in transition and has not told us how much they are going to give him for his car. We don’t know what to do legal wise, should we get a lawyer at this point or is there anything else we can do in order to make the company pay? He does not have comprehensive/full coverage on his car because it was an older vehicle that he has had for 4 years. We think this may be why they are giving us a hard time, but, we don’t think it is fair.

This story raises a few more questions. Was someone driving the truck, or did it roll down a hill spontaneously, unoccupied? Has Jennifer’s partner been in contact with the owner of the other car that was hit? How did the company deal with them? What does the police report for the incident say?

Still, we’ll throw this open to wisdom of the Consumerist Commentariat Hive Mind. What should Jennifer’s partner do?


Edit Your Comment

  1. backinpgh says:

    Depending on the value of the car, small claims is the easiest route (if the car was under the state limit). Otherwise time to lawyer up.

    • you-toe-pee-an says:

      No need to lawyer up. Call their insurance company back and tell them it was their client’s truck, therefore it was their fault. An absence of real intent doesn’t exempt them from actual damages- and if it goes to court, you might be able to get punitive damages if they didn’t park correctly. “Pay up or watch my partner’s insurance company make you pay up in court.”

      • Traveller says:

        This is the correct response. I was driving to work on a highway and encountered stopped traffic. I stopped in time but the woman behind me didn’t. I got her information and contacted her insurance company before she did, since I had the police report proclaiming it her fault.

        They reimbursed me for the blue book value of my car, covered my rental car, and all was well.

      • bluevideo says:

        You say that, but here’s the problem: many (most?) trucking companies are self-insured. I had something very similar to this happen involving a (company name censored) truck that swiped me while I was waiting at a red light… and then the driver took off when I signaled him to stop. He didn’t expect me to have a cell phone (still kind-of rare at the time). They sent me a check for 50% of the damages and impliedly told me to take it or leave it.

        Back then, I was confused about the legal system and thought that I’d have to go to Missouri to sue (not the case). If it happened again today, I would go to Small Claims.

        But yeah, self-insured trucking companies are the best argument against dropping your full collision coverage on an older car. They wouldn’t have stood a chance against an insurer (especially after getting a left-the-scene ticket), but the trucking companies know they can screw over most individuals representing themselves.

  2. hymie! says:

    The last time I was in a car accident (I was rear-ended), I dealt strictly with my own auto insurance, and let them deal with the other company. That’s (part of) what I pay them for. Wouldn’t the same course of action apply here?

    • GMFish says:

      When my parked truck was hit by another driver my insurance did not get involved. Because I was legally parked I dealt entirely with his insurance, who took care of everything. Including giving me a nice rental while I waited. It was awesome!

      • Warble says:

        You should probably mention which company was so helpful, since it looks like plenty of people in here are aching to switch.

    • Sneeje says:

      With my insurance, it depends on whether or not you still have “Collision” coverage. If I had Collision coverage, then my insurance company would take legal action against all of the other potentially liable parties.

    • bonzombiekitty says:

      The insurance may not get very involved because there isn’t comprehensive coverage on the car.

    • RobHoliday says:

      I believe it depends on what the state laws are. In Florida (where I live) it’s a ‘No Fault’ state. That means it does not matter who is at fault, your own insurance company must cover what is in your policy. Some states are not ‘No Fault’ states. This means you have to go after the at-fault persons insurance co.

      • Gulliver says:

        In a no-fault state that only applies to moving vehicles. This actually could be filed under a car or business insurance claim. Imagine instead it was a tree that hit the car from an irresponsible tree trimmer. No fault is NOT designed to give them oh well, your company needs to deal with it. Hitting a parked car is your fault NO MATTER WHAT.

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      What company?

      My insurance company wouldn’t give me the time of day when I was in an accident and having problems with the other drivers company. Basically, they told me to just figure it out. I did, but it’s always bugged me. I haven’t switched since I though it was standard operating procedure for all companies. I would like a company with a higher level of service.

      • jenl1625 says:

        Your insurance company won’t help you deal with the other one. Your insurance company WILL (if it’s obeying the law) accept your choice to use your collision coverage. In that case, your insurance company deals with you. Once your damage is all straightened away, your insurance company then goes and makes a claim against the at-fault company. In the end, if all goes well, you get your deductible back.

        Of course, this only works if you have collision coverage, which is far less likely if you have an older car.

        And of course, if you’re in a no-fault state, you just have to deal with your own company anyway, and there’s no follow-through with the other company.

      • Capta76 says:

        I had State Farm. I got into an accident and the other driver had SF as well. The ‘team’ assigned to me stated they found the other driver 100% at fault. His ‘team’ told me they found me 75% at fault. That happened well over a year ago, and not a damn thing was ever resolved. I had absolutely NO support from my agent and the company claimed until a resolution was reached, nothing would be done. I have since dropped SF and will never use them again for anything. Insurance is literally highway robbery.

        • knoxblox says:

          I had the same kind of problem with SF. A young woman turned left in front of me in an intersection. We both had SF, and the rep actually had the gall to tell me it was partly my fault, when I knew he had a copy of the police report and witness statement proving I was NOT held at fault. I told him to reread, and pay out my claim.

          • The Waffle says:

            I actually had an accident 2 years ago. I have State Farm so did the woman who hit me. I never had a problem whatsoever actually. I had my own team, who I dealt with, never had to deal with another team, couldn’t have been a better experience. They took care of me exactly how I expected. I received followup calls as time went on just to inform me of the progress, and I still got some extra money for pay lost due to missing work. Nothing paid out of pocket whatsoever.

        • Michaela says:

          That is strange. I have never had problems with SF. Summer of 2009, a man crashed into me and totaled my car (which was brand new). State Farm quickly resolved the issue. They did all the calling and talks with the other insurance group and I came out with a rental car, pain & suffering money, physical therapy, and a brand new car.

          However, maybe my experience was different because the other driver did not have State Farm, and I had a very nice insurance plan.

        • Ziggie says:

          I also had a horrendous experience when I had State Farm and the person who hit me had State Farm. My State Farm agent did NOTHING. When I went to his office for assistance, the secretary literally called the phone number of the other state farm from the letter I was sent for assistance and handed me the phone to talk to them. I had no real representation. I’m now a happy Progressive customer and tell everyone I meet about how horrible State Farm is and how State Farm does not protect their customers’ interests.

          • FrankReality says:

            If that happened to me, I’d threaten to sue both my agent and my insurance company and follow up with the State Insurance Commissioner. In fact, my brother had a great deal of trouble over exactly this scenario with State Farm and did precisely that and woke them up and got a settlement shortly thereafter.

            And while we’re on the subject of State Farm, they screwed my father on a claim (had been with SF for over 30 years), my father in law (also a multiple-decade customer) and my brother.
            Worst company I’ve ever had to deal with. Crooks.

      • pdj79 says:

        I was involved in an accident where the guy pulled out into an intersection while I was going through it, causing me to run smack into him. Police report cited him 100% at fault but his insurance company dragged their feet. Called mine (Progressive) and they went to bat for me. The sent their assessor out to estimate the damage ($3900 on a $1500 car – totaled) and contacted the company and gave them the information. The company didn’t respond so, 24-hours later, they had me in their office and cut me a check for $3650 ($3900 minus the $250 deductible) and said if they (the other insurance company) isn’t going to take them seriously then they’ll take them for all they can (they said they should have only paid out $1250 since the value was less than total damage – but since the other company was being unprofessional, they’d just have to deal with paying for the “repairs”). I signed the car over to them and they had the car crushed. 2 days later the insurance company called me asking me where the car was as their assessor was at the junk yard it was towed to look over the car and estimate the damage. My claims agent instructed me on what to do if they tried this tactic and told me to tell them that the car is now Progressive’s property and they need to communicate with them. Last I heard from that company and 6 months later I received a check in the mail from Progressive for my deductible and a note from my agent stating that they had finally received payment from the other company. That was the only time I ever had to turn something into my insurance and am still floored by how they took care of me.

        • nucwin83 says:

          Progressive refused to deal with the other person’s insurance for me, even though I had full coverage and it was the other driver’s fault (complete with police report). GEICO on the other hand, even though I only had liability, stepped up and dealt with the other insurance company (State Farm).

    • diasdiem says:

      That’s what I did when a semi backed into my car at a stop sign. I dealt with my insurance (USAA is awesome!) and they dealt with the trucking company’s insurance.

      • hansolo247 says:

        Same here. Hartford, the insurer of the drunk, high pill-popper that hit me, didn’t want to do anything. USAA took care of that, quick.

        • bluevideo says:

          The Hartford was also of no help when a lady on a cell phone side-swiped me on a busy urban boulevard. Pretty much just dared me to sue them.

          Alas, you both have collision coverage so USAA took care of things. Without collision coverage, you’re on your own.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      they don’t have coverage. No comprehensive or collision coverage at least. Some insurance companies will still help you out with the at fault party, but most won’t.

  3. Fjord says:

    Your insurance is required to deal with them, they have lawyers.

    • dolemite says:

      That’s what I was thinking. Your insurance company should take care of this. If you have good insurance, they will sort them out, right quick.

    • Hank Scorpio says:

      Exactly. You don’t pay your premiums just for them to pay you when something goes wrong. You’re also paying for them, and their lawyers, to deal with this kind of situation.

      They should have called your insurance company when this happened. If they didn’t, now’s the time.

      • apple420 says:

        But his insurance doesn’t cover an accident where the other person is at fault. It only covers accidents where he is at fault. It sounds like he needs a lawyer and to sue the truck company because he is getting the run around.

        • sirwired says:

          If you are in an accident and it is the other party’s fault, yes, you do file with the other party’s insurance co. If they don’t cough up, then you DO file with your own. They pay, just as if it was your fault (and you cover your deductible), and then they go after the other insurance company on their own (this is called subrogating the claim.) When they are successful, they refund your deductible.

          • njack says:

            However, as stated numerous times and in the article, the OP does not have any coverage for this type of incident. The car is older and it is apparent they only have liability coverage. Since the car was parked and the truck ran into it, the OP has no liability, thus no coverage from their insurance company. OP needs to lawyer up and go after the truck owner’s insurance company.

    • angelmvm says:

      The insurance lawyers will only act in shared interest. As the OP has no collision coverage there is no shared interest.

  4. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    “No Fault” insurance isn’t actually about fault, but who pays. It’s a terrible name.

    I’d lawyer up, as “No Fault” doesn’t mean “No Sue”, though that’s what no fault laws were implemented to try and prevent.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      I think you may have misunderstood the claim the other insurance company is trying to make (Either that or the article is poorly worded).

      The issue isn’t that they are in a state where no-fault insurance is mandated, the issue is that the other insurance company is saying their insured party (the truck’s owner) isn’t at fault.

    • tinyhands says:

      Agreed. To me, the key phrases were “trying to claim” and “does not want to pay”. It should be obvious that any insurance company is going to first do what they can to get out of it, hoping you’ll go away, before eventually accepting what any reasonable person knew from the moment of impact.

    • madanthony says:

      I thought in most places no-fault was limited to medical/injury claims, not to property damage claims.

      • Gundy says:

        with michigan plpd insurance the property protection part covers the properly parked cars. it also covers damage to buildings, fences, etc.
        there are 3 parts to the no fault in michigan- personal injury protection, personal property, and residual body injury and property damage liability.

    • Gundy says:

      michigan is a no fault state. although if you hit a parked car you are 100% at fault and the other persons insurance is liable for the full repairs as there can be no liability for the other person if they are legally parked and not even in the car. I have had this happen to me 3x (lucky me) and never had any issues getting the money from the drivers insurance.

  5. madtube says:

    Definitely time to consult a lawyer. The story is missing details that Jennifer probably knows, but something is amiss on the side of the dump truck. As an individual who has driven heavy equipment, something is foul for a large vehicle to doll away like that. I am guessing the party responsible for the truck knows if the case is opened up, major liability faults are going to come in to public eye. If they screwed up, time to own up.

  6. farcedude2 says:

    I’d figure they should let their insurance know that the dump truck’s insurance is being squirrely, and ask for help – it is in Jennifer’s partner’s insurances best interest that the dump truck’s insurance is made to pay for everything.

    • apd09 says:

      If her partner goes through his insurance company he will still be responsible for paying his deductible and then will get whatever repayment after that. It will not count against him as an accident for his driving record but it will show on his insurance as a claim and potentially raise his rates.

      If I were him I would bit the bullet and let the insurance company handle it because it seems he is going to have an uphill fight on his on.

  7. Hoss says:

    Her insurance agent should work with the insurer for a positive resolution. Ah, he does have an agent doesn’t he?? If not, the insurer is your advocate

  8. fsnuffer says:

    NY is a “no-fault” insurance state. I believe since everyone is required to have car insurance, when there is an accident no fault is assigned and each party files claims with their own insurance company

    • GMFish says:

      My state is also a no-fault state, but because my truck was hit while legally parked, my insurance company was not involved. I dealt entirely with the driver’s insurance after he hit it.

      Of course, the no-fault laws of Michigan are probably different from the laws of New York.

      • Alexk says:

        Might be. I got screwed over by Michigan’s no-fault laws way back in the seventies. Woman goes right through a stop sign, smashes my car — and gets a ticket. I get stuck with my own deductable, not an inconsiderable sum for someone struggling through grad school. That sort of experience leaves you with very little admiration for the statistical arguments used to support no-fault.

    • Alexk says:

      And this is what’s wrong with no fault insurance. There’s really no penalty for being an incompetent or deliberately malicious driver. There’s no benefit to being a careful driver.

      • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

        Ontario has no-fault insurance and no-fault does not mean no-fault. Police still assign fault and issue tickets and charges. No fault means that you go through your own insurance to get compensated and don’t have to prove fault to get covered. Insurance companies work out fault between themselves. I believe if you have 3 incidents in a year (I think my #’s are right) you get put into a high risk category and your insurance premiums go through the roof. It makes you a more defensive driver.

      • edrebber says:

        Your car is still wrecked. You have to get it fixed. You will still get a traffic ticket.

    • SonicPhoenix says:

      That’s not correct. Fault can still be assigned and money can be recouped accordingly. If the officer tickets one party and not the other then it’s usually the case that the ticketed party’s insurance covers everything in terms of property damage. I’m not sure about medical reimbursement though.

    • Jfielder says:

      But I think that is for traffic accidents… this should technically fall under property damage, since the car was not under way.

      And I agree that No-Fault insurace is a total crock of shit. I live in MI, which is a no fault state, and the there’s a lot of things about no fault (also know as ‘yo fault’, as in, “um, you just smashed into my car”, “pshhh, ain’t my fault, it’s yo fault!”).
      The thing that really, really pisses me off about no fault, is the fact that I can be driving down the road, in my truck with which I only have PL/PD insurance, someone can blast through a stop sign and slam into my car, what can I do at this point? Well all I am legally allowed to do is go after the other drivers insurance company for a piddley 500 dollars.
      That’s only the first thing that pisses me off about no-fault states…. the other is, how much of a sweetheart deal is this for insurance companies?? I pay out about 45 dollars a month, for insurance I will most likely never use (don’t plan on driving into anyone’s house anytime soon). So I’m giving away like 500 dollars a year for nothing. What a deal for insurers…

      • chocolate1234 says:

        If I’m understanding correctly, you are upset you have to purchase any sort of insurance. Personally, I’m glad most states require every person to have insurance. I’m sure you don’t PLAN on getting into an accident, but without insurance, would you be able to cover the bills if you hit and totaled another car and injured the passengers? A bill could quickly climb into the tens of thousands. Could you cover that out of pocket? Most people couldn’t, and that’s why it’s important people have insurance.

        • GearheadGeek says:

          I don’t think that’s quite what Jfielder meant. “Normal” liability (in Texas, for example) covers any sort of damage you to do someone else’s property or person with your car, up to your liability limits. It sounds like JFielder is complaining that no-fault states that still require liability have you paying for insurance that would only pay out if you hit someone NOT in a car, or if you hit a building or other non-automotive property. I don’t know if it works that way, but it sounds like it might. Odds are highest that you’ll hit another vehicle if you hit anything at all, and then the liability you’ve been paying for won’t have to pay out, their own “no fault” coverage will.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      not how “no fault” works. The no fault part is generally in regards to injuries sustained in an accident.

      If her partner had coverage for the accident (the article states no comp or collision coverage) and they covered the damage, they would still go after the dump trucks insurer.

      There is no reason (other than lack of coverage for the dump truck) that the insurer for the dump truck shouldn’t pay. All I can think is if ther insured was doing something that they don’t cover, they would outright deny coverage….but not liability.

    • packy says:

      I had my vehicle damaged while it was parked outside my old apartment in Troy, NY. The other car’s insurance paid for the repairs. However, I was able to go through my own insurance to do so, since I had comprehensive coverage.

      If the OP’s partner’s insurer won’t help since it wouldn’t be covered by their policy, then IMHO it’s time to lawyer up.

  9. econobiker says:

    Scammy dump truck owner is trying to avoid responsibility since the truck ~didn’t~ actually hit the person’s car just the dirt/rubble formerly in the bed that ejected upon the crash into the other cars.

    It is possible that the car owner might have to have the accident reporting officer file an additional ticket for “failure to secure a load” against the truck owner/operator (heck the person might even be able to file for the ticket himself) and then claim against the truck owner’s insurance.

  10. firepup says:

    I thought NY was the same as NJ with the NO FAULT State Laws?

  11. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Get a lawyer ASAP and don’t give any recorded or signed statements to the truck insurer. Lawyers who handles these kind of settlements often work on contingency. The insurance company will find as many ways as they can to jack you around and cheap out.

    • Grungo says:

      Listen to this person. Sue the **** out of them, and don’t admit anything to the truck owner or their insurance.

    • galm666 says:

      OP: See your lawyer and insurance agent. Even with a no-fault case, this either becomes a property damage claim as the vehicle was stationary or it’s a “failure-to-secure-load” case. And if it’s the latter, with or without the former, it’s a negligence case as this is also a, “this could have killed people” situation as well.

      The trucking company and its insurer are trying to duck you out. Don’t talk to them or their representatives, but do consult your lawyer, the incident report and your insurer.

    • Grungo says:

      Listen to this person. Sue the **** out of them, and don’t admit anything to the truck owner or their insurance.

  12. mbd says:

    Here in NJ as in most states with “no fault” insurance laws, you would normally deal with your own insurance, and they will go after the owner/insurance of the vehicle that hit you. While you are not precluded from dealing directly with the other insurance company, there is nothing to stop them from blowing you off. They are the other vehicle owners insurance, not yours. No fault insurance is about not having to prove the other party was at fault to collect, not about who was at fault.

    • Powerlurker says:

      Also, you don’t have to deal with insurance at all if you don’t want to. If the damage is in the right range, you could sue the driver personally and let him worry about dealing with insurance.

  13. zigziggityzoo says:

    Generally speaking, I file under my own insurance, then let the insurance companies duke it out as to who pays.

    in Michigan, a no-fault state, I’m able to sue for $500 in a mini-tort claim to pay for my deductible.

  14. archer117 says:

    “No fault” only applies to medical bills, not physical damage. You certainly need to have your own insurance company in the loop, but at this point a phone call from your attorney should get things moving again.

  15. microcars says:

    Document the incident. File in Small Claims court against the OWNER of the Truck.
    The owner of the truck is responsible. The owner of the truck is the one that has insurance.
    If you are out ANYTHING from this truck hitting your car and the owner of the truck won’t pay you and their insurance company won’t reimburse you, take them to Small Claims court for the amount owed.
    You should investigate whether you are REQUIRED to have comprehensive insurance or not though. If you are only REQUIRED to have Liability, you really have no choice but to sue the other party since your own insurance company will not pay for this.

    You don’t have to “lawyer up”, just do a bit of research on what is required of you in your state and then go to small claims court.
    They are giving you a “hard time” because they can and hope you will just give up and go away.

    • hammond egger says:

      Small claims court in NY is only good for up to $5000 and in town and village justice courts it’s only $3000. That doesn’t cover much.

  16. smashedpotats says:

    Another Subaru bites the dust :(

    File a claim with your insurance, and have the insurance deal with it. It is why you have insurance in the first place!!

    • syzygy says:

      Bites two feet of dirt, you mean.

    • bluevideo says:

      I’m a little surprised how many people in this thread have zero idea what it’s like to have liability-only coverage, dishing out simplistic advice (“have your own insurer deal with them!”) that doesn’t apply. Subrogation, for example, is irrelevant if you don’t have collision coverage. It even says so in the Wiki page that was linked…

      Perhaps Consumerist, or ConsumerReports, could write about the pros and cons of collision coverage for cars worth, say, under $4,000? If that hasn’t been done already?

      I’ve been hit three times in 15 years, all while 0%-at-fault and without collision coverage (only liability), and guess what? It’s between you and the other company. Your own insurer won’t lift a finger. State Farm was the only insurer that took care of things, instead of daring me to go ahead and sue.

  17. jessjj347 says:

    I would say get a lawyer. When a dump truck hits a car, it usually totals it. Just think about if it hit a person in that car…

    • hansolo247 says:

      You won’t get a contingency lawyer unless someone is hurt.

      30% of $5K isn’t worth the effort, unless the lawyer is hungry.

  18. heltoupee says:

    Contact your insurance company first. They have lawyers on staff to deal with other insurance company’s lawyers. This is a service that they provide, and that your premiums cover. Your insurance should be more than happy to deal with this for you, or at least help out in any way they can — it’s what you pay them for. If your insurance company won’t help, get new insurance, because you are not getting your money’s worth. Then, get your own lawyer. Companies that insure truck drivers are notoriously scummy cheats, and try anything to get out of paying (I could tell you stories, but don’t really have space here). The lawyers they hire are of the same mind, and also bottom-of-the-barrel lowest-bidder types. Your case here is a slam dunk. Call one of those guys that have commercials for “personal injury” attorneys. They’ll either take care of property loss cases themselves, or be able to refer you.

    The next thing to check, if your insurance won’t get on it, is to check the police report (you did file one, didn’t you?) If you can convince the officer to issue a “failure to properly secure a load” ticket, you’ve already won your case, since the police report indicates fault. Now, just tell that lawyer you just hired how long you’d like this menace of a truck driver’s nuts in a vice for.

  19. outoftheblew says:

    I do believe it’s time to get a lawyer involved.

  20. msquier says:

    Ahhhh, dump truck drivers; the take no responsibility group of drivers on the road. If I was the OP I’d sue, sue, sue! Its about time somebody made these people responsible for their lost loads, bad parking brakes, etc.

    I live in the South, Huntsville, Alabama metro area to be specific and it seems like every idiot dump truck driver has a sign on the back of their truck in 3 inch high letters stating that they are not responsible for vehicle damage from falling debris because you must stay a minimum of 200 feet behind their vehicle. My DH and I researched it extensively and its not true! My dad who is a vehicle safety coordinator for a waste management company confirmed that its a lie too.

    First of all, its impossible to read the sign from 200 feet (about 4 times the length of my 1600 square foot rancher). Second, its also impossible to stay 200 feet back from any vehicle even in Huntsville’s very light rush hour traffic. Third, DOT regs state that all loads must be secured properly anyway.

    I say we get tough on the companies/drivers that put those deceptive signs on their trucks by mandating a $1000 a day fine per truck for every day the sign is on the truck after the offense is caught. Lets shake them up a bit!

    • Hoss says:

      I agree. And the biggest problem are the lazy drivers that don;t put the bed cover up.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      Wetumpka, Alabama here and it is this way because of the lax oversight anywhere in this state a business is involved. I wish the same as you + speeding issues, but none of that will happen until we remove the current lazy setup and members from state legislature.

  21. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    wisdom of the Consumerist Commentariat Hive Mind.


    • DanRydell says:

      I’m seeing a lot of idiocy from the consumerist hive mind in this thread, mostly involving the use of the phrase “no fault.”

      Dude needs to call his insurance company and have them deal with it. Don’t waste money on a lawyer. The insurance company should be able to recover the full damages at which point they will refund your deductible.

      You may be SOL on the rental car.

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        They don’t have coverage for comprehensive or collision!!!! That means that OP’s partner’s insurance has no dog in the fight, because they won’t be paying anything out. They may help by contacting the other carrier to see why they won’t pay but that would be about it.

        If you don’t have comp/collision coverage all your company will do is cover what you cause damage to, cover your and others’ injuries, and pay costs to defend you in case of trial. They really ahve no duty to make others pay for your damage.

  22. bschaiper says:

    I would deal with it through your own insurance company. In your policy it should state on the Dec page that they are to defend you if a loss were to occur regardless of fault. Your insurer should then restore your vehicle to it’s condition, or provide salvage. At that point it’s the insurer’s job to file subrogation for the cost of your vehicle against the truck’s insured.

  23. Blackfoot says:

    What should she do? File it on her insurance, explain what happened. She’ll need to pay the deductible & get her car fixed.

    In the meantime, her insurance company will go after the truck owner’s insurance & if there’s merit, she will be reimbursed. It’ll take a few months, but it will happen.

    The partner need not fight with the truck company or their insurance. Let the people that work for her (her insurance company) do what she pays them to do.

  24. NightSteel says:

    Your insurance company should be doing this for you:

    If you haven’t already, ask them to. As others have mentioned, it will show up as a claim, but they have the resources to deal with it. If, for whatever reason, they can’t, lawyer up.

  25. allknowingtomato says:

    So wait, does your partner have any insurance on the damaged car? if not, you need to weigh the cost of lawyering up to eating the cost of the accident.

    If your partner has any insurance, they should have been notified at the time of the accident, regardless of whether they were originally expected to pay. “Claiming no fault” is synonymous with “refusing to pay,” and insurance companies exist to fight it out with each other so you don’t have to get very involved. If your partner does not have insurance, it sounds like the other insurance co is trying to screw you out of what partner’s insurance would have fought about.

    If you have any insurance on the car, call the insurance co and explain. That is your best bet for getting the dump truck’s ins. co to play ball.

    • Powerlurker says:

      No, if the partner’s insurance doesn’t cover the accident in question, then you either file with the dump truck driver’s insurance or you sue the driver or owner directly and let them deal with their insurance.

  26. El_Fez says:

    Lawyer up! Straight away!

  27. rdeebee says:

    If you don’t get an attorney involved right away, I’M going to sue you!

  28. qbubbles says:

    Sorry to say, but invest in some good insurance so that next time he wont have to deal with this crap. Is sucks that lessons have to be learned this way, but that’s what happens.

  29. Geekybiker says:

    Make the claim against your own insurance. They will sick their lawyers on the truck company to pay them. No fuss.

    • Geekybiker says:

      Opps, no comp insurance pretty much rules this out. What you need to do is go and get some estimates to fix. Don’t forget that in 3rd party claims you typically are allowed to claim diminished value (The value your car loses simply because it has been repaired) Get the trucking company’s insurance. If you don’t have it and they won’t provide it, a call to the police non-emergency line or state AG might help. Typically you are required by law to provide this info in an accident. Given the value of this accident there should be a police report as well. Get a copy of this. Send copies to their insurance company demanding payment. Let them know that if they don’t pay within a week you’ll file suit. Follow through with the suit if they don’t comply. Most likely you’ll get a check once they know you won’t be intimidated.

  30. damageddude says:

    NY is a no fault state which means insurance companies don’t fight over who pays. Fault is not an issue here, the truck damaged your partner’s car. You call your insurance company and they start the ball rolling.

    If the truck driver’s company has collision they should pay your partner. If not your partner will probably need to go to court and sue the owner of the dump truck. The case sounds pretty basic. If the car is older the partner may just end up with the blue book value of the car and a wrecked vehicle. Your partner’s insurance company should be able to help determine what next steps should be.

    We’ve kept collision on our 10 year old Honda just for this. Even a small fender can cost several thousand to fix which is more than our deductible and less than the car is worth. At this point it is a gamble as to whether to reduce the insurance and put the difference in the bank for an emergency fund.

  31. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    This is why you pay the big bucks for insurance. Turn it over to their insurance company and they will fight for them. One call from their legal department will get the truck owners insurance company to pay almost immediately.

    No, this will not ding their insurance rating.

  32. Not Given says:

    File a lawsuit against the company, the driver, the company’s auto liability insurance AND the company’s business liability insurance. Let the court sort it out.

  33. balthisar says:

    New York is a “no fault” state, as is my state (Michigan). No fault works basically the same in all no fault states, but I’ll advise that I’m speaking from a Michigan perspective, and details may be different in New York.

    In its essence, “no fault” means you protect your own property, period. If you don’t want to pay for comprehensive or collision, then it’s your problem if something happens to your car. The law provides no relief for damage to your car, regardless of who is at fault. This is what it sounds like the truck company is claiming, i.e., “Hey, it’s a no fault state, and you should have had your stuff insured!”

    Here’s where things may be different in New York: In Michigan, the at-fault party is still liable for a legal maximum of $500 if sued, with the idea being that this is a reasonable compensation for insurance deductibles.

    Also here in Michigan, a parked car is subject to property protection claims. All insurance policies require the driver to have property protection coverage, i.e., for damage caused by you as the driver to private property (say you run into a house or run over a street sign). In the case of a bona fide parked car, the at-fault driver is financially responsible.

  34. FrugalFreak says:

    Lawyer up! Have your own insurance company help fight so they don’t have to pay out or hire your own lawyer, but do not just ACCEPT them saying no or little amount settlement. The Dump truck insurance will pay the least if they can have it that way.

  35. Skankingmike says:

    My god, listen to the people here (well some of them)

    1.) get a lawyer
    2.) get a lawyer to sue.
    3.) sue everybody involved, this includes but not limited too. The trucks driver that day, the company, any company that that company was contracted by, their auto insurance, their business insurance .. ect. you may find this to be grossly over kill, however this is SOP when filing a lawsuit.

    You will recover the cost of the car, time, rental fees, and sometimes other damages when you win.

    Expect to pay a lawyer more than the car was worth.

    Consider next time just getting collision :P

  36. dush says:

    They need to get rid of the laws requiring auto insurance. Maybe then prices would come down and companies would feel the need to be competitive and better at customer service in order to retain business.

  37. Gamethyme says:

    Was Jennifer’s partner’s pickup legally parked?

  38. enomosiki says:

    Threaten to contact the NYS Insurance Department and the AG to file a complaint.

  39. jariten says:

    If the vehicle still had any value that will turn into a net gain if you pay a lawyer, go for it. Otherwise, that’s the risk you bought into when you didn’t purchase comprehensive and collision.

    My guess is that the trucking company estimated that it wouldn’t be a monetary gain for you if you were to take it to court and are being asses about it.

    Other thing you might want to consider is taking to your local media’s “in your corner” guy. They can sometimes harass companies into acting like people.

  40. nallanos says:

    insurance companies always try to punk you out of money. it’s the way our crappy system works. and of course the other driver says it’s your bad. that’s how we all work! the bad news is it was in a parking lot… you should get in contact with the officer you filed a claim with (you did right?), the owner of the lot, the driver of the truck, the other driver, and both insurance companies. record EVERYTHING! and ignore the owner of the truck of he sucks. pressure the shit out of them and it’ll work for you.

  41. kjaggy says:

    file with your own insurance. your insurance company will collect your deductible if it is a covered item and subrogate the claim to the other insurance company. all you need to provide them with is the license plate of the other vehicle, a description of the accident, any identification info from the other vehicle, potentially a police report, and pictures if requested. if your insurance company successfully subrogates the claim, you will receive a refund for your deductible.

    if it is not covered under your policy, your insurance company will still attempt to subrogate the claim but it may take longer. damage to your car while it is parked is never your fault as long as you were in a legitimate parking spot and you had no reason to believe it was in harm’s way (i.e., parking in a spot near a construction site where you see dirt and debris flying, you should know your car might be dusty and have some scuff marks on it when you return).

    bottom line: file a police report and submit it to YOUR insurance company. you are already paying for them to defend you in court.

  42. human_shield says:

    A lot of people here missed that the OP’s friend does not have full insurance coverage. His vehicle is NOT covered by insurance. He is insured against the cost of damage he does to other people. Calling his insurance company won’t help because there is no claim to make. They won’t spend money fighting the other insurance company because they have no involvement.

    I dealt with this when I had liability on an old car and was rear ended. You either sue or you eat it.

  43. JustLurking says:


    Your insurance pays you and then they sick the lawyers all over the other guy. It’s the way it’s supposed to work, assuming you have any kind of comprehensive insurance, of course.

  44. chiieddy says:

    You let the insurance companies duke it out and if your company and theirs agree it’s the dump truck company’s fault, you shouldn’t have to pay the deductible. If they decide otherwise, and you disagree, you can always go to court, but you may have to file appeals through the insurance company first. You let them handle the cost of lawyering up.

  45. XTC46 says:

    Call your insurance company. They will handle it. Ive been in a few accidents some my fault, others not) and not once did I contac the other persons insurance company. My insurance company handled it all, I called them, in the cases it was my fault, I wrote a check for the deductable, in the cases it wasnt, I dropped my car off and took the shop a check from my insurance company.

  46. nacoran says:

    I had a friend who used to drive trucks for a living. One day, trying to maneuver a narrow street he sideswiped a row of parked cars. His boss paid for each car in cash. It was cheaper than taking a huge hit on his fleet insurance. I’m surprised the dump truck company didn’t do the same thing. The bad news is though, that since no one was hurt you aren’t likely to get more than blue book value for the car and short term rental, even although it may cost more to replace. They have to decide if they are going to total it. Once they decide that, things should move quickly. If they don’t total it, they should be obligated to pay for a rental. When my car was being repaired I had a rental for 30 days, but don’t expect that. While you are waiting to see if they are going to total it, check the blue book value and look at what’s available in that price range. They should pay storage at least until they make that decision. If they don’t total it, then they need to pay for all the repairs and the storage up until they tell you to get it repaired.

  47. EcPercy says:

    Everyone already said it, but I will say it again. File the claim with your insurance company and pay the deductable. I am sure that there is a police report stating what happened. It’s clearly not your fault that this happened.

    Let your insurance company do what you pay them for and use their lawyers to sue the owners insurance company.