As my husband backed up in a parking lot, another car did as well.
Both cars have damage on the rear bumpers, no dents, really nothing
more than just paint scrapes. Is this, a 50/50 situation or
would my husband be responsible for all of the repairs?
The smart decision would be for both drivers to fix their own paint
scrapes and not involve insurance at all. Insurance is meant to
protect you from big losses, and a paint scrape is not a big loss.
Numerous small claims can be as bad for your car insurance rates as
one big one.
But if you've decided to use your insurance, there are two
options. One is for each driver to fix his own car through
, if they have it. Each would owe his own deductible, but there
would be no complications involving fault. And fault can get very,
It sounds as if there may be some disagreement about fault,
though. When backing up, you are to take due care, and it appears
both drivers didn't. Thus each is negligent to some degree.
If each driver is adamant that the other driver is at fault,
then they each can put a claim through the other party's
property damage liability
coverage and then each driver's insurer will then
, and if the claim will be accepted.
If you live in a comparative negligence state, liability can be
divided up according to the percentage each driver is to blame for
the incident. There are various types of
Pure comparative negligence states allow that each driver will
receive compensation only for the percentage he is not at-fault.
Thus, your husband could make a claim, but if he is 60 percent at
fault, the other driver's insurer will pay for only 40 percent of
Some states have modified comparative negligence laws that have
a threshold of 50 or 51 percent.
In a comparative negligence state with a 50% rule, you husband
could recover from the other party only if he is found 49% or less
at fault. So neither driver would receive compensation from the
other's insurance company if the accident is found to be 50/50.
In a comparative negligence state with a 51% rule, your husband
and the other driver could claim against each other as long as each
is found 50% or less at fault for the damages.
There also are contributory negligence states. Here, you are
unable to recover from the other party's insurer if you are found
any part (even just 1%) to blame in the incident. So neither driver
in your situation could make a claim.