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Insurance: options when hit by uninsured motorist

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Comments

  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Oh, and make sure the police see all of the vehicle occupants...

    A few years back in St. Louis, I was rearended at maybe 10 mph at a stop light. The guy who hit me was with his girlfriend in a full sized F150. $350 in damage that was quickly reimbursed by State Farm. Fortunately, my wife and I were uninjured in my K-car.

    Fifteen months pass and I get a call from a State Farm adjustor. "I thought that we were done with you, we paid your claim." I told him that I had no clue as to what he was talking about. We were OK. Here, the guy's girlfriend was claiming $10k in whiplash injuries.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    When you take the Senior Driving School (AARP has one and it lowers your insurance rate)(for US OLD FARTS)... they highly recommend carrying a camera in your glove compartment.Most drug stores and Walmarts, K Marts, etc. have them for approx. ten bucks or less (35mm with a flash).
  • pch101pch101 Posts: 582
    while some states may not require the police, with all the liars out there, it still pays to call police for an accident report...

    Not necessarily. You could wait for an hour or two for the whole thing to be completed, only to find that the cops completely blow it and find you at fault, even though you weren't. And if you stand around fussing and agitated with the cops because they feel a report is a waste of time, then they might just be inclined to find the fault with you when they do write that report, even though you weren't to blame.

    A rear-end collision is almost always (not always, but almost always) an open-and-shut case, particularly if the striker admits it. I'd want a report if (a) there are injuries, (b) the damages are significant to your vehicle, (c) it is unclear who is at fault or (d) the other party either doesn't have or refuse to provide proof of insurance and/or a license. A minor no-brainer fender bender is sorted out easily enough with photos (and these days, a lot of people are already carrying one by carrying a cell phone.)
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    I wish I could agree with you, but I cannot, as the reality I see with clients is not the common sense approach that you describe, and what you describe SHOULD be the norm but it is not...

    Too often, liability companies will not pay unless they see a report that shows their insured at fault...even rear end collisions can be disputed, and often are w/o a report...

    Do as you wish, as you are thinking with common sense, which I appreciate...however your common sense does not seem to prevail as often as I would like it to...

    So, the ins refuses to pay, the client comes to me, an atty...oddly, we do not perform our services for nothing...:):):):):)...without a report, I am not going to do battle with the ins, as I want some kind of documentation as proof...

    So, you show me the pictures you took with your sweet little camera...now, if I am going to do battle with the ins, and all I have is photos w/o a report (don't forget, the report also lists just who the at fault party is and who their ins is...with all these illiterates out there, I am not quite trusting that their info is accurate)...

    So, with less evidence than normal, you want me to pursue the ins to pay for your vehicle repair...I WILL NOT TAKE IT ON CONTINGENCY JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A PHOTO, I WANT TO BE PAID FOR WHAT I DO...and just how often do you think they want to pay me when they were the victim???

    I repeat, you should do what you feel is right and proper, but from my standpoint, not getting a police report places you at a great disadvantage...but, please do it your way and you will be happy...

    BTW, by calling police, they will ofetn find out that a driver was driving on a suspended license, or has an outstanding bench warrant for arrest, something you could never do...still, do it your way, but I do recommend to others that they do not follow in your footsteps...
  • pch101pch101 Posts: 582
    I WILL NOT TAKE IT ON CONTINGENCY JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A PHOTO

    And you're not going to take a case involving a $300 fender bender without injuries on contigency, either. (You surely aren't going to go to court to fight for your one-third share of $300.)

    Please note my caveats above in respect to damage amounts, disputes about fault, and injuries. If anyone has a case serious enough that it is going to involve an attorney, then yes, by all means, get a police report.

    I'm talking about there not being a need to make a federal case out of a 5 mph ping at an intersection. In minor situations such as that, getting a police report is nice (assuming that it doesn't point blame in the wrong direction, as they sometimes do), but it isn't critical.
  • Ok, yesterday I was driving on a 4-way. The other driver, while making a left turn, drove through the intersection hitting the left side of my car. The police showed up and and didn't asign blame for the accident. He said that since we moved both of our cars to the shoulder, he couldn't tell who was at fault, and would not investigate further. He basically filled out a form with both of our insurance information, and then went on his way. I called my insurance agent and they plan to investigate. What I want to know is, how they will go about asigning blame since the other guy won't admit that he ran the light? Do I have any chance of his insurance company paying for my repairs?
  • ea1420ea1420 Posts: 22
    I couldn't agree more with Marsha. I'm not a lawyer, but when I was high school I was in a car accident (and I was at fault), and it was because of the police report that I didn't get sued. The other drive was a very sizable lady, and she told the officer on the scene that she was pregnant and the police called the EMT's. Suddenly when there were healthcare professionals at the scene the woman suddenly wasn't pregnant.

    A few weeks later, I got a visit from the supervising officer letting me know that they'd just arrested the woman for purposely running into another person's car and then claiming that she had a miscarriage a few days later. So not only did the police report save me from being sued it also saved the other person she hit from being sued, because there was a record of her admitting that she was pregnant.

    It was a very very bizarre situation, but it taught me early to always file a police report, because while most of the time, the other person will be honest, there are those occasions when people are sue happy.
  • pch101pch101 Posts: 582
    What I want to know is, how they will go about asigning blame since the other guy won't admit that he ran the light?

    Unfortunately, unless you have an eyewitness, you have a classic he-said/she-said problem.

    Can you find a witness? (Passengers in the cars involved probably don't count.) Since it's hard to prove who had the right of way at an intersection, these situations are begging for situations like yours to occur.

    It's these sorts of accidents when having a camera really helps. And if there is any room for doubt about blame and/or if the accident is at all serious, then don't move the cars until you have photographed the scene and the police arrive. This is one of those times that you ignore the gridlock created by the accident, and just leave everything how you found it.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    that folks break the law, but a number of states have laws that tell you to remove the vehicles off the road if injuries aren't serious, so that traffic will continue to flow...

    The underlying assumption is that the officer can still figure out what happened and assign fault for the wreck...

    NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Stop assuming that cops either have that ability or care to learn how to do it...

    bcooper is the exact reason why I feel that way...

    I have recommended to my wife that if she is ever in a wreck, do not move the vehicles under ANY circumstances, including earthquake, tsunami, nuclear war, and plane crashes...wait for the police to arrive so they see the EXACT aftermath and can make their decision...

    Traffic flow can go to h*ll, the mistakes the officer WILL make when you move the vehicle will cost you thousands if you are not at fault...if the other guy is let off the hook you will have to pay your deductible on collision, assume 50% fault which could raise your rates, pay for your own medical care for any injuries and the injuries to your passengers, and never receive any pain and suffering compensation because the other guy was not assigned fault...

    I told her to accept any ticket for "not moving the vehicles as ordered by law" as the cost is minimal compared to the alternative described above...

    People are simply not honest these days when it comes to accident fault, and cops are, simply, not as "competent" or "caring" when the evidence has been moved...why do you think they are ENRAGED when crime scene evidence is altered before they get there???...well, this may be less important then a crime, but when the bills come to you for an accident that you did not cause, tell me then how you feel about obeying the law and moving the vehicles before the cops arrived...

    You know what I tell my wife and why...now make your own decision...
  • Hi,

    I was driving my 1998 chrysler concorde straight on a highway this morning and an oldsmobile minivan slammed the right side of my vehicle and caused pretty serious damages. That minivan then lost control and hit a telephone pole. I wanted to talk to that driver, but he just left his vehicle and ran away. I don't know if he was driving a stolen vehicle or if he was drunk. The police came, wrote a report but they told me that the VIN and plate number of that vehicle didn't match, and they need further investigation to figure out who was really in that vehicle.

    My insurance policy only includes the compulsory things and doesn't include collision. What can I do if the other party is uninsured or even unidentified?
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Cry because you are SOL.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Surely Out of Luck!

    OK, the 's word' isn't correct, but the correct word would get this message deleted and a nasty-o-gram to me from the moderator!

    You probably were hit by either an illegal immigant with no drivers license or a thief driving a stolen vehicle.

    On of the reasons to carry collision.
  • That stinks! I couldn't believe my own eyes. why would anyone escape the accident scene and abandone his own minimvan
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    collision and also uninsured motorists insurance, in the event you were injured...apparently, you were not injured, so you could argue that all you needed was collision...

    I guess what bothers me is to read all these posts by people who, in my mind, innocently dropped certain insurance coverages (or never had them to begin with) thinking they are saving money on premiums...you know the coverages I recommend: medpay ($50K minimum), uninsured motorists, rental car insurance...if your car is worth over $4K then you should have comp and collision if paying for the damages would be financially difficult and the premiums are reasonable...

    Then, they are involved in a wreck with someone else at fault who:
    a. does not have insurance
    b. does not have ENOUGH insurance for the 7 people they injured (like minimum limits of $25K/$50K)
    c. has an liability insurance that takes 3 weeks to accept liability, so they lose their job because, w/o rental car insurance, they cannot get to work
    d. is seriously injured but, w/o medpay, can't get anyone to pay their bills

    I hate to tell the absolute truth, but for MOST folks (not those with an extra $10K in cash just sitting around to replace the beater when it is wrecked), you should plan on spending the remainder of your driving life with maximum coverage of ALL the coverages available to you...stop planning on cutting corners and dropping coverages because the folks who post here of often the result of someone buying minimum coverage and thinking they are beating the system...

    You ARE beating the system, until you suffere injury or damages with ANOTHER driver who is beating the system, and now you are victimized twice...

    Carry all the coverage you can, as only those with $$$ can "afford" to drop coverages, as, by definition, they have the $$$ to absorb other types of losses...

    For the person who has less than a few thousand $$$ in the bank, carry all coverages possible, and stop trying to cut your coverages, as the posters on these topics are what happens when you do not have the coverage and cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost...

    Merry Christmas to all...
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I agree with you completely.

    The problem that I have is that under the current system, those with marginal financial means are ENCOURAGED to carry the lowest legal minimum insurance. If they have an at-fault accident, they are judgment-proof. Ever sue a person with no resources? If you are successful, the file bankruptcy almost immediately.

    Personally, I carry full collision/comprehensive on my beater as I rent cars fairly often and need the coverage on the rental vehicle (without paying the ridiculous CDW fees).
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    in essence, the worthless are encouraged to carry minimum coverage to remain worthless if they injure someone...the only poetic justice for that is when one of "them" injures another one of "them" so they egt a dose of their own worthlessness...

    I had a client recently who suffered $29K in meds and she complained loudly how rotten it was that the liable party only carried the minimum $25K in insurance...

    When I asked for her insurance, she also only carried the $25K minimum, and when I brought this to her attention and asked how would it be if the shoe was on the other foot, she clammed up rather quickly...:):):):):)

    That is the only karma one can hope for, is that the minimally insured deadbeat encounters the same situation...

    I had a case a number of years ago, $250K in meds (yes, a quarter of a million dollars, fractured bones, burst spleen and in a coma for 30 days)...coulda been the big one, but the at-fault party only had $25K in insurance and lived in a 20 year old trailer...that is the case that convinced me to purchase an additional umbrella policy to raise my own uninsured/underinsured motorists policy to 1 million dollars, as any one of us can be seriously injured, possibly crippled (and, obviously, killed) and that UM policy of 1 mil would adequate compensate the injured and pay the med bills, too...
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    marsha7--

    I apologize if you have already addressed this earlier in this forum, but I was wondering what/how much insurance you recommend the average middle class couple (no kids, no accidents) should carry? We currently carry the typical 100/300 coverage for comp/collision/medical as well as something for uninsured motorists on our 02 Rav4. I'm carrying liability and uninsured only on my 94 Civic and 92 MR2. What is your best guess as to cost for a $1M umbrella UM Policy? Is there something that can be carried on our house that can be used also for UM? We've been with the same mainstream insurer for about 20 years and have our house insured with the same company. I would definitely like to be as prudent as possible as well as protect our assets. As the old axiom goes. "it's the cheap man that pays the most."

    Gogiboy
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    My two cents on this is that if you have any assets or a good income, 100/300 is too low. You'd be surprised how fast a hospital bill can hit 100K. In addition to protecting myself, I want to be sure that if I hurt someone, they are properly compenstated - figure a minimum of 500/500.

    Call your agent for a quote an umbrella. You'll likely be surprised at how inexpensive it is.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Gogiboy,

    That depends on your situation - how many vehicles and houses and the state you live in.

    I have a $2M excess liability coverage for about $250-300/ year billed annually. YMMV.

    Just remember one thing? If you kill someone with your vehicle, what's it going to cost you? A lot more tahn the state-mandated 25/50/25 coverage.
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