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Car Park Prang ... Who Is at Fault?


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#1 Indiana Bones

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

Today I had to go to the Dr because I've been unwell.

So imagine this:

Jump in my car ... now this isn't my car, it's on loan from a car dealership because my the car I bought off them is currently having a few things fixed on it under warranty. So they'd given me a courteousy vehicle (Mazda 6) to use until my car is ready.

I check both right and left sides before I start backing out. Nothing coming. Now given this car is fairly new to me, I am really, really conscious of not hitting any of the parked cars on the opposite side car spots. But realistically, the Mazda 6 is smaller than my usual car so I probably didn't need to worry about this.

Backing out ... and about to put my car into first and BAHM! This car, a small Getz, in my opinion has run into my car.

Her car front panel is crumbled in. There are some scrape marks on my car.

Anyway, she then berates me how the road between the car spots is a 'thorough fare' and I had no right to back out. She then says that I have backed into her. I told her that I was about to put my car into first and drive off, hence indicating that I was out of the car park enough to drive off and hence it is my opinion that she has failed to stop and run into me.

So, who is at fault and how is something like this proved?

My DH thinks the insurance company will come after me because supposedly you are automatically at fault if you are reversing, but I know that I was in the process of putting the car into first because it was taking me a bit longer than usual because I am not used to the gear box of the Mazda.

#2 Tikiboo16

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

I think if you had stopped to put the car into first and she hit you, then it's her fault... however if you were still reversing at the time of impact, it is yours.. But I am no expert in these things... I'd just explain it in the most favourable light to the insurance company and let them decide.

#3 boatiebabe

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

The insurance companies will work out who is at fault.

Don't worry about it!

#4 buttercup-bob

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

as far as i know, if you are involoved in a car park prang then you are responsible for your own damages.  so she would be claiming on her insurance for her damages and you would claim on your insurance for the damage to the car. but i would also check with the car yard their insurance etc.

good luck. car park prangs suck.


#5 Tough titties

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

I thought if you had a prang in a car park and both vehicles were moving it was 50-50. I could be wrong but I would be looking into this.

#6 ell80

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

Sounds like you were basically stopped and she was moving?  Especially if the damage is to the front of her car...  So i would have thought she was at fault.

#7 Indiana Bones

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

I'm just worried because it's not my car. It is the dealerships car and I have no idea if they are low premiums and high excesses and therefore will come after me to pay.

I'm so upset because I have been feeling so unwell for the past 3 days, I did ask DH to drive me to the Dr today but he had a meeting at work and couldn't. We have no family or friends here that I could have called on.

I know I felt fine to drive, but now I'm wondering if this accident was a result of me being under the weather.

The lady going off at me in the car park was the last thing I needed today sad.gif

#8 SophieBear

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:18 AM

OP it sounds like you're the one in the wrong sad.gif My Mum had a similar incident and she was at fault unfortunately.

I'm so sorry, the other driver sounds like a t*at though.

#9 VeritasVinum

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:20 AM

Indiana bones I know when I get a dealership car the excess I have to pay is $1-2k if I have an accident. They have huge excess.



#10 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:20 AM

I thinking you were more than halfway out your spot when she hit you so she failed to give way. Her fault.

#11 harper_

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:23 AM

I don't fully understand the scenario. You are parked in a car park and reverse out, she comes up and hits you from behind? How come she didn't see you?

#12 tres-chic

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

We had a loan car once and some neighbours' kids scratched it. They said not to worry about it as we were honest in pointing it out, etc. It might work out OK.

Sorry OP, sux when these things happen even when you're being careful.

Sounds like her fault to me.

#13 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

If you were in Reverse still I think it's deemed your fault, as you're the one who should be giving way.  If you were in first, then it'll probably be a 50/50 situation.

I'm not entirely understanding the scenario either, but hopefully it'll work itself out easily enough for you.

#14 k10

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

I had a very similar experience. Backed out of a parking spot, put the car in drive and bang, a guy backed into me as he obviously didn't see me behind him.  He suggested we 'hit each other', despite me pointing out that the back of his car hit the side of mine suggesting that I was well and truly out of my spot before he moved.  We swapped details but when I contacted the insurance company they said because it happened in a carpark it is 'each looks after its own', so I was up for the excess regardless of who was at fault because the accident happened in a carpark.  Luckily damage was less than my excess so we didn't put it through insurance.

#15 silver-rain

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:33 AM

I agree it sounds like her fault, you were all the way out of the car park about to drive off, it's no different than if you were stopped in the road waiting for another car reversing up ahead. Tricky one to prove though.
Hope if you do have to pay it that the excess isn't too massive, but insurance premiums for loan cars tend to be higher to reduce the premium the dealership has to pay and also because there are a range of different people driving the car with varying driving records.
So sorry the twit didn't watch what she was doing and ruined your day sad.gif Hope you're feeling better soon!

#16 Domestic Goddess

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

SushiLover is correct. Usually its the car that's moving (regardless of reversing or going forwards) that is to blame. I was in an incident like this before.
As you were both moving at the same time, you ought to be both to blame for not "looking" more careful.
Though for her front panel to be crumbled in, she must've not been driving very slow.

The insurance assessors are usually well trained in spotting who's at fault by looking at the shapes and sizes of scratches and dents. So I'd leave it upto them to fight it out.....


BTW, if this was a private carpark, some insurance companies wont pay for anything. Its upto you to cough up for repairs.



#17 laridae

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

Did she hit you in the side or the rear?

Was your car stopped at the time?

If you car was stopped - then she hit you.

#18 JingleBlitzenBells

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

If you were completely backed out and about to drive off and she ran into you, then its her fault.  She was moving, you were stopped.

I would be checking the amount of excess on the loaner though, they are normally huge - upwards of $1000.   They should have pointed this amount out to you when you got the loaner.  

I think because its a loaner you will need to complete a police report and a fully detailed insurance report.

So just stick to the facts. ie: you were completely out of the spot. you were stopped and she ran into you (if this is correct).  doesnt matter what she was saying or yelling about.

Their insurance company will be able to take it from there.

Edited by JustBeige, 28 February 2013 - 11:39 AM.


#19 Indiana Bones

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

The more I think about it, the more I become confused. I think it is just a combination of shock and feeling blergh.

So the road that we are on, is two way. And there are car parks on either side of this road.

This lady was driving in the same direction that I was backing out into. As in, when I was going into first gear, I would be driving in the same direction as her.

All I know is that I had backed out far enough to at least put my car into first gear and drive off. But before I could do this, I heard a large crash. It wasn't until I looked over my right shoulder (because her car did not show up in my rear view mirror because of the angle my car was on) that I realised there was car in my rear!

I asked her permission to take a photo of car her and she allowed me to. The wheel rim and head light on the front left hand side of her car has panel damage.

I really feel that she has come around the corner and she would have seen my car reversing and has chosen not to stop, but just keep driving through. Therefore maybe it is my fault because I cannot 100% say whether at that point in time my car was still in reverse, in neutral or whether I had gotten it into first.

Her big whinge at me was that she had right of way over me because she is driving on a 'thorough fare' and therefore I had no right to even back out of the car spot.

I feel really sick with worry.

Edited by Indiana Bones, 28 February 2013 - 11:43 AM.


#20 Especially*K*

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

I think this would be a case of 'knock for knock' where you'll just be responsible for your own damages.

#21 KnightsofNi

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:46 AM

If you were reversing, you are at fault. If you were stopped or moving forward, she is at fault. It should be pretty easy to determine from the damage which is the true scenario. If you have conflicting stories and the damage does not clarify you might be each held at fault for your own damage.

#22 bubmakes3

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:47 AM

We had a similar prang last year.

The incident occurred at the end of a busy football game. Traffic was queuing to leave the car park building. This was a one way flow of traffic designated by large arrows on the floor – this queue was stationary due to the large volumes of traffic trying to leave the venue. We (DH) reversed out of the car parking space to join end of traffic queue.

The last car in queue began to reverse away from the end of the queue (against the designated flow of traffic) towards us.

DH saw the car reversing towards him and braked, came to a stop and honked his horn. We didn’t have time to move out of the path of the car. The driver continued to reverse and hits us – we were stationary at this point

The rear of her car  t-bones our drivers side – damaging both the front and rear doors.

The driver of the other car was very apologetic and admitted fault straight away. The problems began when we claimed insurance…..

We put in our claim, made statements etc including saying that she had admitted fault and had the damage assessed. The insurance company came back and denied our claim and the when DH queried it they said oh you were both moving. DH said no we weren’t and they said well that’s what her insurers have told us based on her statement and assessment report and they have closed their case so we are too. Anyway DH then text her to ask what she had told her insurers – she said that she had said she backed into us and it was her fault and she was willing to pay for our damages. DH took this back to our insurers and the guy said that was weird and looked into it. Her company refused his request for a copy of her statement and assessment report. Our assessment clearly stated that the impact was blunt force – that our car had been stationary and there was no evidence we were moving. He finally got a hold of their assessment report and the other drivers statement to her company – which both contradicted their original line to our insurers. Anyway long story short – our insurance came through (we didn't pay excess etc) and are chasing hers for our costs etc and also for their VERY dodgy handling of the case. The guy we were dealing with was quite excited about the whole thing – I imagine minor car crash claims are pretty bloody boring most of the time!



Sorry for the novel. I should think if you can prove you were stationary and she has run into the back of you then you shouldn’t be found at fault.



#23 JingleBlitzenBells

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

You have to back completely out and then stop the motion of your vehicle to put it from reverse to first to drive off.  So basically you were blocking the road while you did this, but you were stopped.

OK, from the other drivers pov, you may have been a pita by reversing out into a main road, but once you are in the middle of the road and ready to drive off, she cant just run into you.  

Doesnt matter if you sit there till Sunday blocking the road.  She still cant run into you.

Call the loaner company and go from there.

#24 KnightsofNi

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

If the damage is on her wheel rim, that would suggest you were still reversing.

#25 Indiana Bones

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:52 AM

QUOTE
If the damage is on her wheel rim, that would suggest you were still reversing.


This is what I am starting to think also.

I'm happy to accept fault because right now, I dont' think I could give a true account of what happened. I just have no idea.

All I will say though is that she would have had a lot of notice that a car was reversing out though (I will still maintain that I was nearly all the way out of the spot, this much I know is true). I would have saved us a lot of trouble had she just decided to wait half a second.




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