How do I prove I'm at least as not at fault as the other guy?
August 6, 2012 6:43 AM Subscribe
On Friday morning I was in what I consider to be a no-fault fender bender, but Illinois isn't a no-fault state. The other party has already contacted my insurance; I'm not sure what I should be doing to best protect myself. Details inside.
While on a road trip, my 2 passengers and I stopped at a grocery store to grab supplies. We got in the car, I started to back up and immediately stopped because a pedestrian walked behind me. I checked behind me, checked to my left side to make sure other pedestrians weren't coming, checked my mirrors and began to back out. Another driver backed out at the same time and we collided at the literal midpoint of the lane (exactly on the tip of the directional arrow in the parking lot lane). I drive an SUV, he was driving a Mercedes, the corner of my rear driver's side bumper hit the corner of his rear passenger bumper. My bumper has a spiderweb crack; his taillight was broken and bumper dented.
The police were called, but since it's private property they stated they wouldn't determine fault. The other driver has already filed a claim with my insurance, claiming that it was my fault. I don't know how he could possibly claim that, given he backed into me at least as much as the reverse.
1) Is there anything in particular I should be doing or saying to make it clear that this was not my fault?
2) Should I file a claim on his insurance even though there wasn't significant damage to my vehicle? As in, should I be doing this just to make it more emphatic that I don't believe I'm at fault?
3) One of my passengers was in line behind the other driver at the store, and said he overheard the driver say that he'd recently had eye surgery and was having a hard time seeing the signature line on his receipt. Should I be stating this in the police report I have to file and to our insurances? It's hearsay, but also, dude did seem to have some bad eyes.
Ultimately, I don't want to win so much as I don't want to lose. Thanks for your help, especially since yanml.