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A number of things may be going on. Some states adhere to contributory negligence theory, and some to a comparative negligence theory, both of which are more fully discussed below.

In either event, it is important that you timely report the collision to your insurer. If you had collision coverage, your insurer will pay to repair your car, subject to your collision deductible. However, if damages exceed some statutory percentatge of the car's value, it may be declared a total loss. In that event, the insurer will pay the actual cash value of the vehicle less the policy deductible.

Thereafter, the insurers will "subrogate", meaning that one will attempt to get all or a portion of what was paid from the other.

If you had no collision coverage, you can either absorb the loss, or file a civil suit against the other driver/owner.

Added Answer:

This is what is going on:

The other insurance company is trying to put part of the blame for the accident on you so that it can minimize the amount it has to pay. There are two legal theories at work here, one is contributory negligence and the other is comparative negligence. This case involves comparative negligence because the insurance company is claiming a percentage of non-liability rather than total non-liability.

In a "contributory negligence" state, if the person who got backed into was the slightest bit negligent himself, the person backing into the car is relieved of liability, because the other person contributed to the accident with his own negligence. This is a harsh and unfair rule. Many states replaced "contributory negligence" with "comparative negligence."

In a "comparative negligence" state, the person backing into the other car is liable for just the percentage of his negligence that caused the accident. The actions of the two parties are compared and assigned some percentage of negligence by the jury. In general, if the plaintiff is more than 50% negligent, he will be barred from collecting anything. If he is 50% or less negligent, he will have that percentage of the damages deducted from the amount of damages found by the jury.

In this question the insurance company is claiming its driver was only 80% negligent. This means that it is willing to pay only 80% of the damage its driver caused.

If the owner of the damaged car or his lawyer demands 100% and the case goes to trial, a jury could find that the owner of the damaged car was himself negligent in some degree. A driver backing up is not always automatically responsible for the entire accident. The insurance company would not be bound by the 80/20 split it first claimed. Thus after trial a jury might find the owner of the damaged car to be more or less than 20% At Fault. In any event, the jury will determine the comparative percentage negligence between the two drivers, then determine the amount of damages, then do the math and render a verdict for the appropriate amount.

In a comparative negligence state, if the guy backing into the other car was 80% negligent and if the total damages were $10,000, then the jury would award the owner of the damaged car a judgment of $8,000. This is because the jury deducts 20% of the $10,000 damages from the award because the plaintiff was 20% negligent himself.

In a contributory negligence state, the owner would receive nothing, because his own negligence contributed to the accident even though he was not as negligent as the other person.

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Q: Guy backed into your car now his insurance claims 80 percent liability?
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