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Insurance: options when hit by uninsured motorist

I was rear-ended while stopped waiting to turn left. The other driver provided me with insurance information. I notified my insurance agent. When he contacted the other driver's insurer, it turned out that his policy had expired. Given this situation, my insurance agent said that my insurance can pay for it (and I have a $500 deductible) or I can pay for it myself. It seems to me that the other driver is liable. I have not yet contacted him regarding his stance on reimbursing me for the cost of repair. I intend to get some estimates and then contact the other driver. I have not yet filed an accident report (no police at scene, no injuries). Should I see if the other person is willing to pay my repair bill and only file an accident report if he isn't? Or should I go ahead and file an accident report anyway? If I file an accident report I would think he would be cited for not having insurance. This would be fine with me, however, he may be more likely to reimburse me if I note that I have not yet filed a report and the consequences if I do. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated!!! For what it's worth, the accident occurred in Ohio and I do not know the other driver's financial status (as in does he have money to reimburse me).
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Comments

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,643
    the difference being I filed an accident report the day of the incident. I contemplated suing to recover my deductible but would've had to pay to file a lien and decided not to since the owner of the car (a welfare case) appeared to have no attachable assets other than a crappy old car (w bad brakes?!)

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,010
    about 13 years ago. I got run off the road and hit a traffic light pole. Other guy kept on going, and they never did track him down. It happened so quick that I couldn't get a tag #.

    Anyway, in my case, they actually gave me book value for the car, and the only deductible I had to pay was something like $100 or $150, because I wanted to hold onto it for parts.

    Honestly, I think it should be the insurance company's job to go after the other guy and get you reimbursed for the deductible. Of course, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one!
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    I got hit by, of all things, a clueless person opening a car door while I was driving by....

    we both had insurance...but the other side said it was my fault....

    so I let my insurance company handle it...and they paid for all except the deductible...and were going to go after the other insurance company for the losses...and them the police report came out and said the other party was liable....so they ended up paying....

    they still owe me part of the rental car fees.

    The point I'm getting at is sometimes you can elect to have your insurance company do the footwork...especially if you are covered but not at fault....then they will reimburse all of your expenses...and go actively after the other insurance or person.

    However, because the other side may have your addresss, I would caution against taking an aggressive approach , and advise calling and seeing if the person is willing to take care of all damages himself first. If he does not, or shirks the responsibility, document all this and then go after him either through insurance compa=ny or small claims....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,057
    It's a tough situation. Even if you get a judgment on the person, you still have to figure out how to collect.

    I think the dollar amount would be a factor for me in deciding how to go on this one.

    I'm not clear on one thing--why are you reluctant to let your insurance company pay? Also, isn't there mandatory insurance laws in your state? If so, you should file a police report I think. Are you familiar with the laws inyour state regarding when an accident report is necessary or are you making assumptions?

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  • muklukmukluk Posts: 18
    Thanks for all of the input. I got my first estimates today from the body shop of the local subaru dealer. To just tweak the bumper back would run $128.70. To fix it "like new," which would include replacing the reinforcement beam, would cost $739.11. If I'm paying for it myself I suppose I would go with the cheaper option. The concern with having using my insurance would be that I would pay the $500 deductible (unless the other guy is willing to) and then the insurance would cover the rest (239.11). People seem to think that it wouldn't be worth given that they might be inclined to increase my rates (that's my reluctance about letting my insurance company pay. Of course I would ask my agent about this but who knows if I would get a straight answer. There are mandatory insurance laws in Ohio but for what it's worth, the guy at the body shop, did not seem to think much would happen to the guy. With regard to the accident report I believe it is mandatory if the damage is greater than $400 (but it isn't clear if they mean one or both cars). I know the dollar amounts may seem minor to some folks but I am a poor graduate student and money is an issue. Any addition comment on my dilemma would be greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,057
    Is this a particularly nice car otherwise? Does having a tweaked rather than a "like new" bumper greatly diminish its value?

    Unless this is an expensive, nearly new car, I'm inclined to suggest that you fix it yourself, file an accident report and ask the driver by registered letter to pay for the repair. If they refuse or stall, sue the driver immediately in Small Claims Court. The mere fact that he has no insurance should guarantee you a slam-dunk victory in Small Claims.

    Of course, then you have to figure out how to get your money. If he refused to fix the car, I think he'll stiff you as well in Small Claims, but then he has a judgment on his credit record, and for $128 he would really have to be a dope to do that.

    Anyway, I'm not a lawyer, I'm just telling you how I would handle it. This advice is all on the presumption that your car will not suffer grievous loss of value by a patch up repair.

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  • muklukmukluk Posts: 18
    My car is a 2002 Subaru Outback. I am the original owner and this the car's first (and I hope last) accident. It is my first ever new car and I hate to see it messed up. If money were not an issue, my preference would be to have it fixed "like new." Reasons not to do that would be that I am out either $500 for the deductible with a possible (probable?) increase in my insurance rates or I am out $739.11. If I knew for sure that the other driver would cover the cost (or even a decent percentage of it) I would go with the more expensive repair but who knows about that. I'm just sorry the whole thing happened. With regard to insurance laws, according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, uninsured motorists "will lose their license for at least 90 days if they drive without insurance" they will also supposedly lose license plates and vehicle registration, pay reinstatement fees of $75.00 for first offense, pay a $50.00 penalty for failure to surrender drivers license, plates, and registration, and be required to maintain special FR coverage "high risk" insurance coverage on file with BMV fo at least 5 years. If involved in an accident without insurance, they may have a security suspension for two years and a judgment suspension for seven years.
    Given all that is at stake maybe I could get the guy to pay for the entire "like new" repair. Does it sound like I need a lawyer? Should I go ahead and file an accident report? Again any advice, comments would be greatly appreciated
  • mentioned, but not just any court. Take them to the People's Court. I'm not really kidding, I have heard that the TV show pays the judgements on those shows. At least some of them, you'd have to ask. Have you chatted this thing out completely with your own insurance agent? I'd definitely get it fixed and if you have to make your insurance provider do their job and go after the guy without insurance, to collect for the full amount to fix the car, do it. Ask them how much it would raise your premiums...it's a fair question, indeed. Yeah, car accidents are so full of bunk.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • nornenorne Posts: 136
    One thing to remember. Accident claim is still counted as a claim whether it was your fault or not. If you decide to let the insurance company pay for the damages, they can raise your rates when time to renew the policy. Yes, you can switch companies but they will ask you the same question. Any accident in the past 5 years fault or no fault?
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...no doubt is filmed in California, so I imagine any possible claimants (and defendants) would need to find a way to California (and pay for it). Over a relatively paltry sum ($740 in this case), it'd hardly be worth it. Both my brother and I have had people give us false information (phone numbers, addresses, names, or all of the above) when being involved in their-fault accidents here in Chicago; in one case, there was little damage, in the other, the damaged car was an old SAAB. Bottom line, in Chicago (and likely other places), it isn't usually worthwhile to pursue much litigation if the other party isn't willing or able to pay you in the first place. I'm not saying to lie down over it, but at the same time, you have to know when to cut your losses. I would first try the legitimate, legal routes (insurance, small claims court), but beyond that, I wouldn't hold your breath. Unfortunately, as the police are seldom willing or able to intervene (indeed, in Chicago they won't even come to the accident scene or issue citations unless someone is practically mamed or dead), the reality is that the innocent party(ies) are often left holding the bill.
  • they're too busy with "more important troubles in Chicago" or they just don't care?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,674
    but I must respond to this as a personal injury lawyer (and, no, I do not chase the ambulance, contrary to what you may think)...first, whenever you have an accident, ALWAYS call the police for an accident report...even if no one is cited, you often need an objective report of the accident for the opposing insurance to pay, assuming the other guy is at fault...once you drive away from the scene, anyone can deny they were involved in the wreck...the police report is objective documentation of the accident...even if no ticket is issued, if the officer just writes in that "Vehicle #1 was at fault for failure to yield" it helps your case...too many folks are just plain dishonest and will not report the wreck to their insurance, and it will be up to you to prove to his insurance that the wreck occurred...the accident report will do that...in Georgia, a FAULT STATE (as opposed to no-fault) if you take them to small claims court and receive a judgment, if they do not pay, send the judgment and the report to DMV and the person's license will be suspended until he pays...fairly effective unless he files Chapter 7 bankruptcy...it also pays to carry Uninsured Motorists Insurance (UM) on your policy, because it is no coincidence that the worst drivers, causing the most accidents, will allow their insurance to lapse due to inability to pay...not to sound elitist, but if you drive in the inner city, the poor, who have clunker cars and also have nothing to lose (i.e. judgment proof) will often be uninsured...sad, but true...I believe it is YOUR responsibility to insure your self against what can go wrong, do not depend on the other guy to carry his insurance like the law requires...always have Med-Pay, UM, Rental Car Insurance, maybe even towing if you do not belong to AAA or a Motor Club...I see too many cases where the at-fault is uninsured, my innocent client was injured, client does not have UM, no med-pay to pay doctor bills, no collision to pay auto damage, and they ask me what can we do...I tell them to go to small claims court on their own, and expect to win the case and lose the war...they get mad because the other guy was uninsured, I tell them they need to pay for all the extra coverage so they are protected, stop assuming the other person has the same sense of responsibility to be insured...judgments are rarely collected, unless they have property to file against (the poor usually rent), or a job on the books (ha! ha! ha!) with wages you can garnish...
  • reddogsreddogs Posts: 353
    Thank you marsha7 for you highly informed opinion, now if you were in the real life down here in Florida yould know most drivers let their insurance drop or just carry the minimum with no collision. When they do hit you, they are just as likely to keep going and you are lucky if you see what color the car was much less the licence plate. My sister got hit in the trunk/quaster panel with over $2300 in damages and the car sped away, and this is while she was searching for a body shop to get a quote for a parking lot fender bender which the person at fault refused to even acknowledge he had hit her (Someone saw him back up into her car but wouldnt go with her to report it). So there was nothing to report except her car was hit twice by person unknown and her insurance has since been jacked up for all her troubles. Thats life in the real world, maybe you'll come down to Miami some time and get a taste.........:0)
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,674
    I really do have a taste of the real world here in GA, but obviously not in FL...we do have hit-and-run here, too...often, sadly, the ones who are most often the uninsured are the immigrants, another reason in my mind to lock the borders and place INS agents in every hospital ER in the nation...but you seem to have a more prevalent problem in FL than we do in GA, but the state says that something like 1 in 4 drivers has no insurance...a good reason to maintain collision and uninsured motorists riders...I guess the "real world" may be different for different states with different geographical problems...
  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    Just the other day, there was an article in the papers about a hit and run. Apparently an older Caddy hit a house and then drove off. House is a 200+ year old restored log cabin. Young couple just finished restoring recently. Put a rather large hole in the livingroom wall. Anybody wanna bet the Caddy driver wasn't insured? Police found a broken Caddy wheel cover at the scene. That is how they know it was a Caddilac.
  • reddogsreddogs Posts: 353
    I guess all the "real world" Cubans, Dominicans, Argentinians, Italian, German, Brazialian, Jamaicans, Mexicans, Venzualans, and Isreali immigrants need to get out of Miami and leave it to the "natives" with insurance. Very nice, real PC, very understanding...
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  • sean3sean3 Posts: 158
    involved in an accident i described in the Mitsubishi Galant Forum, by an uninsured driver, she got a ticket for the wreck and no Ins also, I contact Farmers (my ins agent) and they are dragging there feet, I have uninsured motorist my car is an '04, and they say they have to conclude what happened themselves, and generally uncaring, I py my premiums, and this is my First accident, and they are treating me like a crook,they did send me a rental car quickly, probably because i requested one, and pay a premium for that to, I expect the other driver will not have to answer to anything, if my todler son were with me, i would have reatined a layer, but whats the point? Not like I'll ever see any $ from her, she was very rude and had a bad attitude towards me and the officer, Her fault, no insurance, I think insurance should cover there insured no mater whos at fault, that way there would be no suprises?'s, kind of lke No-fault, before this accident, I thought Farmers was top notch, but now I see there stand on,she actually had the nerve to tell me this after i filed the claim, "Gets you back where you belong" ? huh whats that, treating you like a stranger, when you've payed $1,000's in premiums,and now you need a small legitimate ruturn on what you payed to protect, Does anybody know of an Ins. Company that treats customers like customers?
  • rickvhrickvh Posts: 28
    How long ago did this occur? What has happened since you've actually made the claim? Every insurance company is going to take some time to figure out if a car is repairable or has to be totalled.

     

    Is it just your agent that isnt treating you right? Or is it claims too? Could you give a little more detail about why you are being treated badly? I'm definately on your side on this, but i'd really like to know the details of what makes this a bad experience for you.

     

    You have collision and uninsured motorist, you are covered up to your limits. You will be paid on your losses, it just takes a little time. Sometimes months for bodily injury claims. The car should be settled within a month in almost any case.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    If you're in the military, or have a parent who's in the military or is a veteran, then you can join USAA. As far as I can tell, they're the best, and they cover in every state.

     

    If not, I've heard good thing about AAA, and their rates seem to be pretty good.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,674
    highest rated companies for financial stability, ranking #1 or #2 with Moody's, Fitch, Standard & Poor's, and Weiss Ratings...ignore any insurance rated by A.M. Best, as they are funded by the very insurance companies they rate, I believe, so everyone that pays to them gets a good rating...kinda like the Better Business Bureau...if you pay for a membership, you instantly are granted a "good" rating with BBB, but if you are not a member, they will wait 6 months without complaints before granting you a "good" rating...seems like the fox doth sometimes watcheth the henhouse, eh???
  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    USAA has top notch claims service. And they have NO AGENTS! all direct 800 number access. Very quick claims turn around too. I was "side ended" by an UM a few years back, USAA stepped in and aside from my needing to shell out for the deductible, they were very efficient.

    Supposedly State Farm is good too. They actually handled a claim that I had on one of their insureds last year quite handily.

    And no I don't work for them.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...USAA is the best. But if you're not in the military or have a relative in the military, you can't get USAA.

    Thank god my dad was in the Navy way back when.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,674
    this topic came back to life...kinda like the resurrection...
  • I have a 16 yr old teen who was involved in an accident. He was driving down the lane in a parking lot. Just when he was coming next to a parked vehicle the other car began to back up. He was shocked and unfortunately reacted by putting on the brakes, stopping right in the path of the other car. The other driver did not see him and continued backing up into our car. He left a dented scratch on 3 side panels of our mini van and also damaged 2 moulding strips.

    The other driver convinced my son that it was all minor and no report or insurance exchange was needed. My son has since learned thru friends that this guys isn't very responsible (surprise, huh?) and may not even have insurance.

    I am wondering if we are better off handling this out of pocket or pursuing the other driver. It was also suggested to us that reporting this as a hit-and-run parking lot accident it could be advantageous. None of us (including my wife) has any accidents on our records.

    Thanks in advance for any tips.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    I think the guy backing out is at fault.....even though your son stopped he was still in the travel lane and has the right of way. I would go after the guy and get him to pay for the damage.

    What does everyone else think??
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...definitely go after the guy. I'm sure your son was in shock from the accident, and this guy took advantage of him.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,674
    and molding strips, it sounds like the damage might be a few hundred $$$...of course I could be wrong, it could be a new Lexus 430 and the damage exceeds $5,000...if it is low, I would pay out of pocket and tell your son this mantra...NEVER LEAVE THE SCENE OF AN AUTO ACCIDENT WITH A POLICE REPORT, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE OTHER PARTY NEEDS, WANTS, DESIRES...the only official record of any wreck is the police report, anything not written is not worth the paper it's not printed on...never violate this credo, as it will be valid for as long as oil is pumping from Saudi Arabia... ;) ;) ;)
  • knollknoll Posts: 1
    I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WAS RECENTLY INVOLVED IN AN ACC. SHE WAS DRIVING HER DAUGHTER'S CAR AND WAS HIT WHILE PULLING OUT OF A FRIEND'S DRIVEWAY. SHE WAS INJURIED AND HER DAUGHTER WAS INJURIED WHO WAS IN THE CAR ALSO. RIGHT NOW SHE IS BEING PUT AT FAULT FOR THE ACC SINCE SHE WAS PULLING OUT BUT SHE IS TRYING TO GET THE PR AMENDED TO SAY THE OTHER CAR WAS SPEEDING.HER DAUGHTER HAS UM AND LIABILITY. WHO PAYS???
  • :sick: I feel for you Just 3 days ago here in Ga I was hit by a driver and found out that the car he was driving was not his and the insurance was canceeled about 3 weeks ago. I only have liability and a totaled car w/ medical bills So what Do I Do?
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