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Questions About Auto Insurance & Accidents

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  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    edited May 2013
    Well, that was a bit of a joke backed with truth.

    When I was a sophomore in a parochial high school, we got one of those public school students that had gotten kicked out of his school. Besides selling drugs (to other former public school students) and using between class periods, he brought a handgun to school one day, which back in those days just didn't happen in our finer schools... are rare even in the bad ones.

    Anyhow, we have our good public schools and bad... like any other city. One individual act does not represent the whole, but in talking to people, reading , and watching the news... the vast majority of problems come from the public schools. People tend not to want to spend all the money it takes to send their kid to a parochial school, if their kids is going to behave like a delinquent.

    Love the Mandy show too.

    Now back on topic before I get into trouble again. :cry:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    edited May 2013
    >Anyhow, we have our good public schools and bad... like any other city. One individual act does not represent the whole,

    I figured we could talk about it sensibly that there's no one stereotype. I'm always amazed by those who love to push the stereotype.

    Glad you got the payment. I am really surprised they aren't setting their own lower amount for damage. I'm happy for you that you got lucky and the camera was on and they could identify the "chil."

    My kind of luck on getting an insurance payment is bad luck. The black Cobalt's rear soft bumper got pushed in the apartment parking lot at The Ohio State University and the paint flaked off in spots and crackled in others from the movement. No one came forward to say they had caused the damage. The 3 rows are fairly tight and cars larger than a Cobalt or Civic are hard to wiggle out of the spots. Guess my own checkbook will wait till he's moved to a better apartment location and then bring car home and pay for rear bumper repair myself.

    This message has been approved.

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Glad you got the payment. I am really surprised they aren't setting their own lower amount for damage

    Thanks. At the moment I do feel a bit lucky on getting the money. With my brand new Civic... not so much.

    I was rear ended at a stop sign about 3 weeks ago by some lady who was uninsured. Body shop estimate was about a grand. I should have called the cops, but it was after picking my son up from school, and the uninsured motorist's daughter was in my sons class. No one was hurt. And I really didn't see any damage at the time (put a crease into bumper that was difficult to see with lighting).

    The "lady" initially presented me her insurance information. Later when I called Safe Auto, they said she dropped their insurance 6 months ago. She would not answer my calls and was avoiding speaking directly to me. I think she had something called "Sly Dial", which allows you to make calls to someones phone, directly to their answering machine, without that persons phone ringing. She would leave messages on my phone, but my phone never rang. And yes, I checked, was set to ring and vibrate.

    Anyhow, after my insurance carrier left her a message saying they would go after her for reimbursement (for paying out on my claim), and also that she would be subjected to a $1,000 fine and loss of license for driving without insurance... she decided to call me and settle up.
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,906
    I live about half-way between jipster and imidazol... and I'll chime in here, in favor of public schools, at least in our part of the country...

    jip... let me guess... Trinity? :P

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    jip... let me guess... Trinity?

    Oh good gosh no! :sick:

    My dad went to St. X, but I went to DeSales, which was only a few miles from where we lived. :shades:
  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,676
    In places I've lived, it seems the quality of public education is correlated with the education, or interest in education, of the population in that area. Where I live now, public schools are great - but it's also the 13th most educated town in the nation: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2006/top25s/educated.html

    When I lived in St. Louis, the 'burbs that had higher percentages of educated adults had better public schools. Seems the same in Kansas City, though none of my kids ever went to school there.

    Also, moving to Columbia, MO dropped my auto insurance by about 30%. :)

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    where the public schools are not that good (many public school graduates, upon matriculating to a GA University, find they spend their "freshman" year in remedial courses), yet, with Emory University, Georgia Tech and Univ of Georgia, we have some fine universities...what a dichotomy.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Self esteem inflation is more prevalent in the public schools because the main function of the teacher is to keep the average daily attendance as high as possible. The state rewards the district accordingly. To encourage attendance, the teachers don't assign homework so when Pimple Face enters a 4 year university, he spends (wastes) a lot of money (tuition) taking Bonehead English, Remedial Math, Sucker Science, & other needy courses so he might be eligible a year later as a Red shirt Freshman. ;)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    >only people who think our public schools are great, either work for them or get a pension from them. Some are good, most are horrible.

    What would Richard64 say to that?

    This message has been approved.

  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,906
    That's not our experience at all.. and, our son graduated just last year.

    Lots and lots of homework, 30 hours (not a typo) of advanced placement college credit, and Honors classes for freshman year in college. And, he wasn't even in the top 10% of his graduating class.

    All in our local public school.. :)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    edited May 2013
    >That's not our experience at all.. ...Lots and lots of homework, 30 hours (not a typo) of advanced placement college credit, and Honors classes for freshman year in college. ... All in our local public school....

    My wife's retired friends say that communities get the schools they deserve. If the community wants to be a bunch of fools valuing athletics and other social things over academics, they get the school to do as they wish, and therefore get the results from their schools same as their community's values. Period. The school represents the community.

    Rush Limbow can say it as often as he wants to stigmatize the public schools, but it's not true.

    Our son had a similar experience to KYFDX's. He turned down the advanced physics and calculus AP credit on advice because his major involved those courses at OSU, but he used the other credits. He was glad he did take the calculus and phsics afterwards because there was a lot of expanded content in the college course at this, a really academic college, in the courses where he did start.

    On the topic of insurance, I don't think I can claim the cracked paint on the rear bumper of my Cobalt from someone pushing against the plastic bumper and flexing it. That caused the paint to crack off in one spot and just crack and crinkle in a couple of others higher up. I'll wait until he's moved out of the high density parking lot for the 33 residents of the 5 1/2 apartments in July, then I'll see how much repaint will cost. I know it's a lot because it's the sides of the rear fenders all as a part of the rear bumper too.

    This message has been approved.

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,778
    I have no idea, but it would be very interesting to see what Richard had to say on this subject. I wish he would chime in.

    I had wonderful teachers when I was growing up, and for the most part, so did my kids. I am not concerned about most individual teachers, my concerns are about the system these teachers have to operate under.

    I say reward individual teachers where warranted and get rid of about half of the school administrators and the teachers who don't do a good job. But this seem to be impossible under our current system.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Merit pay to teachers leads to professional competition & the chalk clinching mouth breathers don't want that & they vote accordingly on union issues.
    Perpetual mediocrity insures job security & tenure. Because teachers go on strike - they don't qualify to be professionals. Charter, military prep, & private academies place their graduates in universities with better graduating success than public school candidates. It didn't used to be that way, but it is now. :(
  • nookslistnookslist Posts: 1
    I'd have to second that opinion, sad to say here in NJ the public school system is a mess. So many teachers just "putting in their time". Also a lack of respect for traditional American traditions (ie: the pledge of allegiance is being phased out) . Not to mention folks who opt to send their kids to parochial schools but still must pay for the local public school.

    There must be a better way ! The voucher system sounds promising. Anything to reduce gov't involvement in the education of our children. Simply living within the boundaries of school A should not be a death sentence. Given the vochure system ..... a child would have the opportunity to apply for the school(s) of their choice. And the schools would have a right to set their own requirements (based solely on academic standards) .
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,980
    "Facebook is used in almost every claim now, especially when there is an injury. "Checking social media accounts has become one of the first things an insurance company or adjuster will do when you file a claim," adds Darras. Especially when any injuries stem from the accident."

    Car Insurance Companies Use Facebook for Claims Investigations
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    I think it is a good idea, and I represent those injured in the wreck...I hate being involved in less-than-truthful claims...when folks come to me in consult and say their car was damaged but they did not suffer injury, my first question is...why are you here?...when they say, "for pain and suffering"...I respond that since they told me they don't hurt, why would they get any pain and suffering when they never experienced any pain and suffering???

    I am also amazed at folks who clai injury, and when they send out a private investigator to videotape them, they are caught carrying 100 lbs of shingles up the ladder to the roof...

    Facebook may lessen the need for expensive investigators...
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    I’m am so glad to hear you say that! The whole sense of entitlement mindset drives me insane!!!

    After dealing with a car accident my mom was involved in back in 2010, I actually decided to get my license and become an independent insurance agent. She was rear-ended while stopped at a red-light by a teenage girl who was TEXTING! She rammed into her at 45mph and forced her into the car stopped in front of her. She hit that car so hard that the airbags deployed!

    My mom had a number of fairly significant injuries (including broken fingers and a broken toe, fractured wrist and (ouch!) one of her toenails was ripped off when her slid off the brake pedal as the airbag deployed! She also had horrible bruises from the seatbelt and burns on her face and hands from the airbag. She refused to take an ambulance to the E/R, but my step-dad came to the wreck site and drove her to the hospital himself. They discovered that she had suffered damage to at least one disc in her cervical spine. She had been treated for a broken shoulder the previous year and, luckily, had an MRI from six months prior to the accident of the shoulder that also showed that part of her c-spine undamaged. She ultimately required surgery to remove two discs in her c-spine.

    All she (we) sought from the at-fault driver’s insurance was reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses and salary reimbursement for the 10 weeks she was out work due to the c-spine injury and surgery. The total was less than $30k, but the most she was offered was $14k and that was only after much wasted time and energy spent negotiating! The real clincher- the at-fault driver and my parents were insured by the SAME company and they treated her like dirt! I won’t name them directly, but I like to call them State Harm…actually I call them a lot of names, but I’d be banned if I repeated them here!

    She had no choice but to hire an attorney and he went for the throat, so to speak. The at-fault driver had $100k in Bodily Injury coverage and that’s what he got! She happened to be driving my car at the time, so the attorney also sued my insurer for the $50k Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Coverage on my policy and also won that! After taking his 40%, mom got $90k and her related expense were just over $40k by that point. But she was very upset about the additional $50k and didn’t want it! She was horrified because she had money that she felt didn’t belong to her! Ultimately, I convinced her to treat herself to a new Mazda CX-9 and put the rest in my nephew’s college fund.

    As an agent, most of my customers make their initial notification by calling me if they’re in an accident. Most of my carriers allow me to open a claim online and then they contact the customer to follow-up. It never ceases to amaze me how often my own customers ask “How much can I get out of this?” or “Which attorney in town do you think can get me the biggest settlement?” It happens almost every day!

    I don’t (technically) have the power to have their policies non-renewed when they expire, but I have told at least two of them that they would be better served if they took their business elsewhere when their current policy expired! One was a woman who was totally faking the severity of her injuries. She was suing the at-fault driver but also intended to sue her own insurer (who I represented) under the Underinsured Motorist coverage on her policy. She was going for $750k ($500k from the other driver, $250k from her own insurance) and she didn’t have any serious injuries!!! What she did have was the sleaziest attorney in the area and the support of a local ‘Pain Management Specialist’ (aka- [non-permissible content removed] who would write a prescription for anything with “oxy” in the name or labeled “may be habit forming”). How did I know all of this? Let’s just say that no HIPAA, Privacy or any other law trumps working in the same small town I grew up in! =)

    The other case was a man hit by an Uninsured Motorist. He sued our insurer for $50k under the Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury portion of his policy. But he didn’t seek any sort of medical treatment for more than a MONTH after the accident! Then I found out (from the cop who wrote the accident report) that the dude WASN’T EVEN IN THE CAR when it was hit!!! I turned him into the insurance company’s fraud department and told him to seek coverage elsewhere!

    People who get insurance settlements that they aren’t legitimately entitled to receive hurt ALL OF US! They increase insurance premiums across the board and, worst of all, they make it very difficult for the truly injured to receive the compensation they deserve and need!!!

    I know this isn’t politically correct, but in closing I feel compelled to share what my mom said when she was awarded more than what she was out-of-pocket. She said she felt like “white trash” for more than just reimbursement for expenses for her claim. When I was growing up, the only people who sued for such ‘damages’ were simply too lazy to work and could only be classified as ‘trash’!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    I see both sides of the issue...IMO, your mother was easily entitled to the money she received, as her injuries were TRULY worth the money she received...she is not white trash, she was fairly compensated for REAL injuries suffered by someone else's negligence...that is a case I would gladly have taken, simply because the injuries were real and so was the recklessness of the driver...that is what the system is supposed to do, when it works correctly...

    As far as the guy who was not in the car but wanted damages, he should be placed in prison for insurance fraud...I have no patience for that crap...

    If you don't seek treatment (for real injuries) for 3-4 days after a wreck, then you have weakened any claim you may have had...there truly IS a "latent effect" where your body may not sense the pain for up to 2-3 days, as the body can go into shock after a traumatic collision...it is not realistic for everyone to be in pain immediately after a wreck...sometimes you can be hit on Friday, feel normal on Sat, and wake up Sunday almost paralyzed...that is true...but when you are hit on the first of the month, and decide on the 10th that you need to go to the ER, your claim has been compromised by 50-75%, because no one on any jury will believe that you "hurt that bad" if you needed 10 days to decide if the pain was bad enough to see a doctor...

    I also see another phenomenon that I originally found surprising...many senior citizens, let's say from the "old school" often think like your mother, where they are highly critical of people who see out attorneys after a wreck...they will rail up and down about how unfair it is that they are seeking money for their pain and suffering...UNTIL THEY GET INJURED IN A WRECK THEMSELVES AND GET AN OFFER FROM THE INSURANCE LESS THAN THEIR DOCTOR BILLS...suddenly, they are sitting in front of me, wanting to get compensated for THEIR pain and suffering...I will often ask them why is everybody else so greedy but they aren't???...they will usually answer that THEY hurt from the wreck but others are just faking it...suddenly, a person, who felt for 70 years that OTHERS were gaming the system, now THEY want theirs because they were REALLY injured...

    I acknowledge that there are fraud cases, but you would be surprised at the folks who really do get injured in major collisions, and insurance companies only offer them half of what their treatment bills are...Doctor bills, $8,000.00, offer, $4,000.00...that is why the courts are clogged with these cases...you would be amazed at the offers from companies like Snake Harm that do not even cover medical bills...and we cannot tell that fact to the jury...

    I believe that if we could say to the jury..."we are here today, taking up your time, because Snake Charm insurance only offered these folks $6,500.00, but their bills are $8,000.00, and the wreck was not their fault"...if juries knew that, insurance companies would be hit with punitives so bad they might actually make fair offers, and allow the court system to flow faster...
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    You remind me of the one PIP case where the passengers of my insured's car claimed neck and back injuries after the impact. Amazing that as soon as the coverage ran out, they stoped their feel good apointments with the chiropractor and were cured.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 790
    It’s interesting that you mention the elder folks; they can be a real challenge to work with! =)

    My mom and grandma were rear-ended back in 2005 at the 4-way stop in the tiny little town where they live (Waleska, Georgia, Home of Reinhardt University). They were in my grandma’s mint-condition 1993 Cadillac Sedan De Ville (12 years old, 32k miles and showroom condition inside and out)

    The woman who rammed them was driving a late-model Pontiac Grand Prix that had already been wrecked (and not repaired) prior to this one. She got out of the car immediately and started yelling and making a scene. My mom’s initial instinct was to shut her up (by whatever means necessary), but she quickly noticed that the idiot was slurring her words and was clearly under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. So she just waited for the cops to arrive and tipped them off.

    The local Fire Station and County Sheriff outpost are both less than ½ mile from the accident scene, so they were on-site in well under five minutes. The woman who rear-ended them refused to submit to a sobriety test of any kind and she had a history of DUIs and drug & alcohol-related offences. She had insurance with some non-standard company I had never heard of AND when the officer ran her license it was actually suspended due to a recent DUI! Needless to say, she left in the back seat of a police car.

    The physical damage didn’t look all that bad, but there was some frame damage in addition to the visible cosmetic damages. My mom wasn’t injured, but my 85-year old grandmother’s was under the car of an orthopedic surgeon for the next four months and had to attend physical therapy twice per week.

    I was very surprised that the adjuster from her off-brand insurance company offered to pay for my grandma’s actual expenses for medical care, physical therapy, prescriptions and he even offered mileage reimbursement since each trip to the doctor or therapy was at least 35 miles round-trip! My step-dad handled the claim (I was still in the housing industry and living in Vinings at the time) and he didn’t press for anything other than reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Even though I wasn’t in the insurance business yet, I told my step-dad that I’d cut off his most precious body part if he signed ANYTHING before we were certain my grandma was in the clear and wouldn’t need further treatment. Ultimately, he didn’t sign their settlement agreement for almost a full year. Even so, the total amount claimed for actual expenses was less than $12k and they immediately paid without question.

    Settling the Property Damage portion of the claim for her vehicle was much more difficult and unsatisfactory! My step-grandfather bought her Caddy new in 1993 for $37k. After 12 years, it only had 32k miles on it and literally looked brand new. They declared the car a total loss and the first offer was only just $4,800. I did some research and determined that ACV on was closer to $5500 plus the value guides (KBB, NADA) added $1000+ for the low mileage. I finally told my step-dad to start closer to $8k and stand firm at the $7k mark….after many phone calls, arguments and trying to help my grandparents understand that they were getting at least as much as any buyer would have paid for it prior to the accident, they finally told my step-dad to take it and be done with the mess….

    I’ve ran into very similar situations where an elderly customer drives a pristine car that is 10+ years old and only has 30-40k miles on it! I have argued with insurers until they finally agreed to repair them instead of totaling them! In particular, my pediatrician (now in his late 80s) drives a 1995 Acura Legend (final year) that still turns heads and he keeps it spotless and shining all the time. Some moron hit him in the right rear side and did so at just the exact spot to cause damage to the rear fender/quarter panel, rear door skin, and bent the wheel/tire damaging the suspension and axle. They initially were planning to total it and I had to work hard to haggle them up to $6750. I was PRAYING that he’d take it because I had EVERY INTENTION of buying that bad boy from the insurance company for around $700 and having my brother-in-law (the best Acura/Honda paint and body man in the Southeast) repair it for me on the side. But Doc couldn’t part with it and it cost $6200 and change to repair it properly.

    My mom got a call from District Attorney about five weeks after the accident occurred. The woman who hit them was scheduled for court and he called mom to his office for a deposition and later asked her if she would be willing to appear at that woman’s court dates. I insisted that mom go and I took vacation time to go with her! Someone had to get her off the road (and make sure she saw some time behind bars) before she hurt or killed anyone else! She was incarcerated for 12 months (minus time served) and on probation for five years after her release. She is also legally prohibited from driving a vehicle ever again.

    BTW- this is my favorite part to tell about this accident….My grandma always had very long, thick hair (she’s Pentecostal) and she always wore it up in ‘bun’ on top of her head. By the time she reached her early 80s, her hair had thinned considerably and her trademark ‘bun’ wouldn’t hold together, even using every bobby pin in the free world!

    She grew up very poor and had a very tight budget during her marriage to my bio-grandfather (died before I was born). But she made herself some beautiful dresses and even more suits (jacket and skirt, ankle-length skirt to fit in at church, I think) and never left the house unless she looked her best! She’ll be 94 very soon and she STILL dresses up to go to the doctor or anywhere else.

    Her thinning hair bothered her a lot, so she started wearing a wig everywhere in her early 80s and still does. But when she and mom were rear-ended, her wig flew off her head and landed on top of the dashboard! Once she regained her bearings after being rammed, she realized that her wig flew off and she hurried to put it back on before the EMTs and firemen showed up.

    A moment later, firemen approached her to ask if she was injured. But his first words were, “Ma’am, I think you have your wig on backwards….let me help you with it!” =) I just wish I had a photo!
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