Parking Lot Bump [Archive] - BB.BC4x4.COM

: Parking Lot Bump



frank
October 21st, 2006, 01:54 pm
I'm posting this to try and get some help to figure out what to do next.
A couple of weeks ago my wife was involved in a minor parking lot collision. She had backed out of a stall, stopped, put her car in "drive", and before she got moving forward the other woman who was waiting to take the stall bumped her.
No problem. They get out and look, no damage. (There is a scrape on the bumper of the other woman's SUV, well above the bumper of my wife's car, she admits it was already there.)
They exchange phone numbers anyway, and when I get home from work my wife tells me about this person bumping into her. I look at her car, no damage. When I get out of the shower my wife tells me that the woman has called and her husband says that her bumper facia is cracked behind her license plate, what are we going to do about it?
I tell my wife to report it to ICBC, and to call the other woman and tell her that that's what we're doing about it. She does.
ICBC takes her statement about what happened, but they aren't interested in hearing from the two witnesses in my wife's car (her mother and 16 year old niece) because they are relatives.

ICBC comes to a decision, finding my wife 100% at fault. "How is this possible?" my wife asked, "I wasn't even moving when she hit me, I had backed out and was stopped."
ICBC says that traffic in a parking lot laneway has the right of way, even if they have stopped to let you out so that they can take your spot.
My wife is not a roadstar, so this will pump up her insurance.

I'm a little frustrated. Does this mean I can go down to the local mall and start enticing vehicles to back out and then ram them?

I understand that ICBC has an appeal process, but I've never had to deal with them. Would I be better advised to just retain a lawyer? That would probably cost more than to just fix the woman's envoy, but it's the principal of the thing...
Any suggestions?

DMMcG
October 21st, 2006, 03:35 pm
If your wife was truly stopped, and the other driver hit her, then your wife is not at fault for the mva.

ICBC has been told by the other driver that your wife ran into them while exiting her parking spot. ICBC has chosen to believe the other driver.

If your wife can convince ICBC that she had backed out, was stopped, and that the other driver then ran into her, ICBC will side with her......not a very likely scenario given ICBC's present 'findings'.

The internal appeal process is a possibility, but in my experience very few appeals are ever successful (that would mean that the original adjusters made a mistake).

Your only real option, if you want to pursue this is to take the matter to court. Sue the other driver and owner of the vehicle that hit your wife in the Small Claims Division of the Provincial Court of BC. Bring the legal action in the Registry nearest to where the mva occurred, or nearest the other driver's residence. You have two years from the date of the mva to do this; thereafter, the claim is extinguished.

Call both witnesses in your car to the stand and have them testify, in addition to your wife. ICBC will hire a lawyer to defend the other driver. They will call witnesses in their case (the other driver and/or any other witnesses that they may have).

The judge has to decide which version of the events is the correct one. The determination of the court will be binding upon ICBC.

Jeep_Explorer
October 21st, 2006, 03:40 pm
There are 2 options... well 2 ICBC will let you do...

1. is let the claim go through, pay the $300.00 deductable for the lady, and her car gets fixed, and your wifes insurance will go up.... signifigantly.

2. ICBC should offer to let you "pay it out" which means you pay ICBC the amount to fix the other car....

as far as appealing the 100% at fault, I have heard ICBC change the percentages around to make the other person more at fault, but I have never heard of more then a 50/50 change... either way ICBC sucks, and they should be giving IQ tests before issuing a licance. Like I just dont understand, why would someone bump someone else when they are giving you a parking spot? is keeping your foot on the brake an extra 2 seconds THAT hard???

anyways, option 3, my personal favorite, find where they live, hunt them down, and cause some damage to the front end worth getting fixed, and making a damn claim over.... haha, just don't get caught!

frank
October 21st, 2006, 04:51 pm
Okay, thank you. I thought "internal appeal" sounded like a waste of time.

lilfoot
October 21st, 2006, 06:34 pm
You should exhaust all avenues of appeal before heading to court. The internal appeal will not cost you any money, and you have a 50/50 chance of winning.

Regardless of the outcome you can then always take the other driver to court after.

Parking lot incidents like this always present a challenge, it comes down to the individual statements from the drivers and any independent witnesses. You cannot rely on an inspection of the damage to show what happened as the damage will be the same if your wife backed into the other car or the other car hit your wife.

The MVA regs are quite specific, when backing up the onus is the the vehicle backing up to ensure it is safe to do so.

One question, how does your wife know the other driver wanted her spot? If the other driver said they were driving through the lot not parking they have the right of way.

But as DMMcG has stated "if your wife was truely stopped she would not be liable", the difficult part is to prove she was stopped.

Even if you go to court you may find that family members are not alwasy viewed as independent witnesses.

If you are not satisfied with your adjusters decision talk to their supervisor.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.

DMMcG
October 21st, 2006, 07:45 pm
Originally posted by lilfoot
You should exhaust all avenues of appeal before heading to court. The internal appeal will not cost you any money, and you have a 50/50 chance of winning.

If you 'exhaust all avenues of appeal', you'll be exposing your wife to just that much more adversarial questioning, with whatever can be gleaned used against you once you decide that you ought take the matter to court.

The ICBC's interests are diametrically opposed to yours, and they will collect whatever evidence they can to use against your wife. I know that people think of them as "my insurance company", but when you present a claim or a risk to them, they'll put on the black hats and forget the white ones in the filing cabinet.....it's just the nature of the beast.

Through the multiple re-telling of the circumstances of the mva, should your wife make a mistake or forget to say something, or should you just run into "mistake-prone" ICBC representative who 'gets things wrong', the ICBC will be using that to impeach your wife once the matter does get to court.

In order for your insurance premiums (claims rated scale) to not be affected, you must be found 25% at fault or less for the mva.

When both sides in an mva push hard, and ICBC decides to split liability 50/50, both party's claims rated scale will be affected (if you're a Roadstar, then not so much - but you lose your free kick at the cat).

Good luck!

skidmark
October 21st, 2006, 08:53 pm
Listen to DMMcG's advice. He knows what he is talking about.

Dook
October 28th, 2006, 03:03 am
If the driver stopped and was in drive when contact took place, they must assume that she had completed her exit, and the other party was at fault 100%. This happened to a girlfriend at the time. She didn't take the time to clean the fog from her windows, and had done the same thing, backed up, stopped, put it in drive, and bang we got hit in the rear. AKA 'rear ender'. She was found to be 100% not at fault. It shouldn't matter how loudly one complains to determine fault.

Mazda
October 31st, 2006, 05:18 pm
What kind of car was she driving? It might have a black box.

skidmark
October 31st, 2006, 05:47 pm
Chances are that the collision was not nearly violent enough to store anything....

Mazda
November 8th, 2006, 06:21 pm
Most GM's record an event with hard braking.

frank
December 2nd, 2006, 04:27 pm
Hi everyone, and thanks for the responses. Sorry I havn't checked back on this recently. Nothing much has happened with this so far. We're still 100% at fault.

My wife insisted that ICBC look at her car even though there isn't a mark on it. (They didn't want to.) An investigator took pictures and measurements and compared them to the damage on the other vehicle. He said (verbally) that the damage to the envoy could not have been caused by my wifes car, the bumper heights were wrong and the damage marks were not consistent with any features on the back of her car. I wish my wife could have got that in writing.

No one at ICBC seems too excited by this inconsistancy.

Still no word on a payout amount to avoid a rate hike.

In answer to some questions above:
The woman told my wife she was waiting for the spot, that's how we know she was waiting.
My wife's car is a toyota supra, no fancy electronics, no black boxes or anything of that nature.

In the end I expect this will be more trouble to attempt to win than it is worth, so I doubt we'll pursue it.

fishead
December 2nd, 2006, 10:41 pm
In the end I expect this will be more trouble to attempt to win than it is worth, so I doubt we'll pursue it.

I dunno man, sucking it up and letting someone else who is in the wrong screw you into paying for some damage to their car when they know full well that it didn't involve you just because they have no scruples? Those are the kind of people that you like to see standing on the sidewalk while you swerve for the puddle of slush. If the inspector said there was no way your wife could have caused the damage, push for that. Make ICBC suck it up and reverse. Appeal until there are no appeals. Just don't let these scum-weasels get away with their scumminess!!!

Sure its gonna waste a lot of time, but it would prolly feel pretty good to make them pay.

Dook
December 2nd, 2006, 10:48 pm
The fish has a point. I would become the biggest pain in the ass I could untill they see the light. Ask anyone who knows me! ;o)

:agree:

frank
December 3rd, 2006, 09:48 am
I know what you guys mean, and I feel that way too. The problem is a lack of available time and will.
My family is dealing with other problems at the moment, which are stressing my wife and myself, and I don't believe she has the energy to deal with this thing by herself, which means that I'd have to be there, which means missing work...

As I said the guy who inspected the car didn't put anything in writing.

I am under no illusions about ICBC's appeal process anyway. DMMcG basically just confirmed what I already had guessed about that. "Internal appeal" says it all.

If it went to court I'd have to fly her mother and niece (witnesses) back out here from Winnipeg, which costs money, and disrupts their lives. They probably wouldn't be considered the most reliable witnesses anyway, due to being relatives.

It will all depend on what the cost is. I don't know yet how much it cost to fix the front of that clumsy realtor's envoy, because ICBC hasn't told me.

pony
December 14th, 2006, 10:43 pm
:wtf:

He said (verbally) that the damage to the envoy could not have been caused by my wifes car, the bumper heights were wrong and the damage marks were not consistent with any features on the back of her car. I wish my wife could have got that in writing.

Don't need it in writing, persue the evidence trail, if you car isn't tall enough to mark the Envoy at that spot then your car didn't do it. Scrutinize the physical evidence as the adjuster had an opinion for a reason; the reason should still be there .

Sucks man, feel for ya :mad:

crimsen
December 16th, 2006, 05:25 pm
exactly. go yourself, get the pictures with measurements of your vehicle, and if you can locate the other vehicle, or a silimar make/model, get pics and put it on the desk infront of them, and ask how.

if they still insist, just get a lawyer. it aint got to be a high class one or anything either, as its all concrete proof.

JWOOD85
December 29th, 2006, 08:22 am
hey i feel for yah, I got in an accident in my yota a couple years ago in the snow, and a guy actually slid down a hill into my truck while i was basically stopped, but i got blamed for it 100 percent at the start, and the best i could fight it to was 50 percent. which still raises my rates. I even had pictures of the guys tracks showing that he was sideways coming down the hill. 4 years later, i'm kicking myself for not getting a lawyer as the cost of the accident (through insurance rates) was about 4g. Sounds like you case is fairly open and shut, get a lawyer and git'r done is my advice, these ICBC guys are pretty sneaky, and there should be no more than 4 hours work pending it doesn't go to court which can cost ya 500$ at a reasonable lawyers office. well worth getting it to 25 or 0 percent. good luck.

pony
December 29th, 2006, 08:32 am
:agree: ICBC loves hitting you with 50\50 fault, that way they can ding both insurances in one shot. I heard a suggestion once, did it for a while too. Get one of those Disposable Cameras (http://www.adorama.com/images/Product/KKFS35.JPG)and keep in it your glove box. That way you can photo document any "Incident" that may happen. Photos are worth their weight in gold, more if they're digital :cwm30: This does little for you now Frank but sharing your unsavoury experience with us gets us all thinking a bit more.

Keep us posted :beer_cheers: