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I know there are many other car accident threads but I was not able to find one that matches my exact situation. Thanks in advance for everyone willing to give me advice. 

I was recently in a car accident in New York where I was driving straight in the right lane and the car in the left lane switched into my lane and hit me on the side. The other driver states that she had her turn signal on (still doesn't give her the right of way) and she changed into my lane because there was an accident in her lane (accident had been there prior and all cars were slowly merging into the right lane). She did not want to initially accept fault and therefore I called the police and got a police report.

Based on the situation, I think the other party is at fault. My question is should I go through the other party's insurance company or go through my own insurance company? My car has minor damages and is an older car so for me it is not worth a claim against my insurance to get my car fixed. It is completely drivable currently and I am in no rush to get the car fixed. It has been about 5 days since the accident and I was planning on contacting the other party's insurance first and if they refuse to pay then try and contact my insurance to see what they recommend. I just want to make sure this accident does not make my insurance go up. 

Also, I have read a lot about diminished value. My car is about 10 years old and has been in two small accidents prior. Is it worth me pursuing diminished value or would I not get anything in this case? 

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That's what a lawyer would get you. Apparently, the OP is experiencing some, hence being here 🤓

mikejensen (Nov. 21, 2016 @ 11:26p) |

And the more you guys call him an a**hole, the more suffering he can claim!

Ecuadorgr (Nov. 22, 2016 @ 2:51p) |

On FWF, a 10 year old car with only minor damage is referred to as "a new car".
A Crown Vic refurbished by the BubbleKing... (more)

RidicuRuss (Nov. 22, 2016 @ 3:53p) |

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Report it to both insurance companies. Looks like her fault.

I don't know why drivers are afraid to report accidents to their own insurance companies. They'll probably find out anyway.

In 2010 I was hit by an unlicensed drunk driver. Demolished my car. Nearly demolished me. I collected nearly $100,000 in benefits (damage, medical, pain/suffering, etc.) from my own insurance company. My rates didn't go up a penny, and it had no affect on my driving record (California).

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do report it to her insurance right away.....

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and what does the police report say? was the other driver cited?

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See my thread esp. last pg. https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1537676?showmessage=196...

I agree/hope it doesn't matter I reported it my ins.

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apollocus said:   
My car has minor damages and is an older car ...
<snip>
Also, I have read a lot about diminished value. My car is about 10 years old and has been in two small accidents prior. Is it worth me pursuing diminished value or would I not get anything in this case? 
 

  No.

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fwuser12 said:   
apollocus said:   
My car has minor damages and is an older car ...
<snip>
Also, I have read a lot about diminished value. My car is about 10 years old and has been in two small accidents prior. Is it worth me pursuing diminished value or would I not get anything in this case? 

  No.

  b/c Age of car? 

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needhelpplease said:   
fwuser12 said:   
apollocus said:   
My car has minor damages and is an older car ...
<snip>
Also, I have read a lot about diminished value. My car is about 10 years old and has been in two small accidents prior. Is it worth me pursuing diminished value or would I not get anything in this case? 

  No.

  b/c Age of car? 

  Plus two small accidents in past plus minor damages in current accident.

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Report to both insurance companies with police report and photos of both vehicles and photos of the scene

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BigFatCat said:   and what does the police report say? was the other driver cited?
  Police report basically just says my side of the story and other party's side of the story, as I stated in OP. Police report does not say who was at fault and does not say if other driver was cited but I am not sure if she was cited on site. 

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apollocus said:     Police report basically just says my side of the story and other party's side of the story, as I stated in OP. Police report does not say who was at fault and does not say if other driver was cited but I am not sure if she was cited on site. 
  
who's the 1st car on report.

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I am vehicle 1 and other party is vehicle 2 

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If the front of her car made contact with the side of your car, then she is most likely at fault. Even though you were being an a-hole and not allowing her to merge.

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Unless you have a Porsche, Lotus, McLaren or other limited production car - you aren't going to get diminished value on a 10 year old car!

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Based on my similar situation...

Assuming that it isn't clear from the damage to your car, I think you are out of luck. Unless there is a witness to say who was at fault (besides the two drivers), the insurance company won't assign fault either.

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slappycakes said:   Unless there is a witness to say who was at fault (besides the two drivers), the insurance company won't assign fault either.The insurance company may not say "it was her fault", but they assign fault by using percentages.

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How bad is the damage to the other car?

I'd tell both. New York is a pure comparative fault state, so not only is your recovery limited by the proportion of your negligence, but your insurer may have proportional liability to the driver at primary fault. It is rare to NOT be doing something that can be considered partially negligent. The questions are whether they think they can make the case and whether you can defend it.

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apollocus said:   I am vehicle 1 and other party is vehicle 2 
  in AZ you'd be @ fault.

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fwuser12 said:   
needhelpplease said:   
fwuser12 said:   
apollocus said:   
My car has minor damages and is an older car ...
<snip>
Also, I have read a lot about diminished value. My car is about 10 years old and has been in two small accidents prior. Is it worth me pursuing diminished value or would I not get anything in this case? 

  No.

  b/c Age of car? 

  Plus two small accidents in past plus minor damages in current accident.

  typical cutoff values? 5 yrs?

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needhelpplease said:   
apollocus said:   I am vehicle 1 and other party is vehicle 2 
  in AZ you'd be @ fault.

  
There may be some officers, maybe even a vast majority, who observe that convention in most cases, but it is not universal and could not be so, as it would leave them no recourse in cases where it was the officer's judgment that multiple drivers bore equal responsibility.  Also, the officer's judgment is not final.  The insurance companies (or a court, if it comes to that) will apportion fault independently of the officer's adjudication, possibly weighing it in their analysis.

If the OP would summarize the facts of the case and whether any of them were disputed, we have enough Holiday Inn Express denizens here to make a more-educated guess than we can now.

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IMBoring25 said:   
needhelpplease said:   
apollocus said:   I am vehicle 1 and other party is vehicle 2 
  in AZ you'd be @ fault.

  
There may be some officers, maybe even a vast majority, who observe that convention in most cases, but it is not universal and could not be so, as it would leave them no recourse in cases where it was the officer's judgment that multiple drivers bore equal responsibility.  Also, the officer's judgment is not final.  The insurance companies (or a court, if it comes to that) will apportion fault independently of the officer's adjudication, possibly weighing it in their analysis.

If the OP would summarize the facts of the case and whether any of them were disputed, we have enough Holiday Inn Express denizens here to make a more-educated guess than we can now.

  Here are more specific details on the accident. 

Vehicle 1 (me) was driving straight in the right lane. Vehicle 2 (the other party) was driving in the left lane. There was an accident in the left lane and therefore everyone in the left lane was slowly merging into the right lane. Vehicle 2 decided to keep going straight all the way until right before the accident and then try and switch into the right lane. Vehicle 2 started switching into vehicle 1's lane and vehicle 1 honked their horn. Vehicle 2 then hit vehicle 1. The point of impact was at the front driver side tire of vehicle 1

I hope that clears things up for everyone.

I contacted my insurance company (Nationwide) and they told me it would be up to me to go through them or try and directly deal with the other party's insurance. They said they could process the claim for me, I would pay my deductible, then they would deal with the other insurance company and attempt to get the money back. If they were able to get the money back then they would refund my deductible. 

I decided to just try and deal with the other insurance company directly first. Since the damages to my car are minimal, I did not want to file a claim under my insurance that could potentially increase my insurance if they other company assigns me at fault. Also, the damage is so minimal I wouldn't even want to pay my $500 deductible. If the insurance company assigns the other person at fault then I would get my car fixed. 

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apollocus said:   
Vehicle 1 (me) was driving straight in the right lane. Vehicle 2 (the other party) was driving in the left lane. There was an accident in the left lane and therefore everyone in the left lane was slowly merging into the right lane. Vehicle 2 decided to keep going straight all the way until right before the accident and then try and switch into the right lane.


So it's definitely not your fault that an accident occurred, but don't be an asshole; the other driver is doing the correct thing.

Use both lanes until the merge point. Merge like a zipper.
 

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bppcomplete said:   
apollocus said:   
Vehicle 1 (me) was driving straight in the right lane. Vehicle 2 (the other party) was driving in the left lane. There was an accident in the left lane and therefore everyone in the left lane was slowly merging into the right lane. Vehicle 2 decided to keep going straight all the way until right before the accident and then try and switch into the right lane.


So it's definitely not your fault that an accident occurred, but don't be an asshole; the other driver is doing the correct thing.

Use both lanes until the merge point. Merge like a zipper.

  Yea that would normally be fine except it should be every other car...ie one car from right lane and then one car from left lane. In this case, I let one car from the left lane go in front of me and then the other car also tried to get in behind that car. But we will have to see what the insurance companies decide. 

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slappycakes said:   Based on my similar situation...

Assuming that it isn't clear from the damage to your car, I think you are out of luck. Unless there is a witness to say who was at fault (besides the two drivers), the insurance company won't assign fault either.

  If the other driver acknowledges changing lanes, there really isn't much room for fault to be assigned to anyone else.  The only other option would be that OP was changing lanes and hit her.  Something obstructing your lane does not entitle you to the right of way in the next lane over.  

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bppcomplete said:   Adding some citations:

https://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/workzone/doc/When-latemerge-zipper.pdf
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/us/why-last-second-lane-merger... 
http://arstechnica.com/cars/2014/07/the-beauty-of-zipper-merging... 

In some countries you can even get fined for not merging properly like this.

  There's so much wrong with these claims.  The first being that the same number of cars are going to pass through the single open lane, whether the lanes merged at the "merge point" or a mile prior to it - the only difference is how far back traffic gets backed up (cars in two lanes means a 1 mile backup, verses 2 miles with everyone in one lane).  The key to a "zipper" merge is for all cars to keep moving - and the problems start (and end) with someone driving to the merge point then expecting the cars in the other lane to stop to let them in (often because they're too afraid to shoot the gap).  The whole thing only works smoothly when the merging lane paces the lane it's merging into, and glides into the gaps between each car - and it doesn't matter where that happens.  That rarely is what happens at a merge point, what happens is each lane takes turns stopping to let the other lane go, which creates constant starting and stopping, slowing everyone down.

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Was it worth it to be stubborn and not to let them in? Why deal with the headaches?
The other party is at fault, but their insurance will try to lowball you. Hire a lawyer and you'd get more for your pain and suffering.

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I'll address the OP first and then get on my soapbox...

OP, it's possible you get tagged with some negligence in this scenario. Probably not more than 10-20%, but enough that you may not be compensated fully for your damages by the other driver. Holding one's ground literally until impact while someone is approaching the end of their lane and attempting to merge, however much right-of-way you DID have, may fail the reasonable-person and last-clear-chance standards. It sounds like they reached a point where they were either going to hit you or the accident vehicles before you reached a point where you could no longer brake out of their way. It is irritating, but I'd reiterate the "was it worth it" above.

On the zipper merge, I am really glad the love for that hasn't reached us here yet. The rate-limiting phase is the choked flow through the lane reduction point. You're best off with smooth, stable flow there at maximum safe speed and minimum vehicle spacing. When you have people having to speed up and slow down at that point to negotiate a space in the through lane while staring down the prospect of plowing through a line of orange barrels it's not conducive to smooth flow. A no-passing rule for a couple of miles before the lane reduction gets the benefits of the zipper merge, but spreads out the maneuver so flow is smooth by the time it's critical and is less demanding on the varying skill levels of the drivers on the road.

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mikejensen said:   
The other party is at fault, but their insurance will try to lowball you.

Hire a lawyer and you'd get more for your pain and suffering.

  
happening to me in other thread.

Won't  pain and suffering be fraud though??

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needhelpplease said:   
mikejensen said:   
The other party is at fault, but their insurance will try to lowball you.

Hire a lawyer and you'd get more for your pain and suffering.

  
happening to me in other thread.

Won't  pain and suffering be fraud though??

  That's what a lawyer would get you. Apparently, the OP is experiencing some, hence being here 🤓

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And the more you guys call him an a**hole, the more suffering he can claim!

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needhelpplease said:   
fwuser12 said:   
apollocus said:   
My car has minor damages and is an older car ...
<snip>
Also, I have read a lot about diminished value. My car is about 10 years old and has been in two small accidents prior. Is it worth me pursuing diminished value or would I not get anything in this case? 

  No.

  b/c Age of car? 

On FWF, a 10 year old car with only minor damage is referred to as "a new car".
A Crown Vic refurbished by the BubbleKing is "a brand new car".

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