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Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents



  • I got into my first accident last Friday night, when it was pouring down with rain. I'm a 21 year old male who has 1 1/2 years of driving history, and I drive a 03 Hyundai Elantra GLS. Luckily, no one was injured at all.


    I was preparing to leave a parking lot and merge onto a main public road. I checked my left first, and after i checked the right, i slowly pulled onto the main road, when out of seemingly nowhere a 91 suzuki compact smashed into my front-end, ripping off the entire bumper and headlights, crumpling my hood, and most likely damage to the transmission and engine. The car wouldn't start after the accident. The other car was going straight about 40mph on the farthest left lane of a 6 lane road (3 per side), and had a moderately damaged side. I didn't have any sight of him as it was dark, and i told my adjuster as well as the police officer who filed the report that i didn't see his headlights, nor hear his tires screech or honking. After we both pulled into the parking lot I came out of, we called for a police report, and during the report, the other party had no proof of insurance, and I highly doubt that they had one prior to the accident.


    I am pretty sure it's my fault as he had the right of way, but as I was reading through this excellent thread, I read about "comparative negligence"... would that apply in this case? Also, would I benefit if my adjustor proves that they had no insurance at the time? Plus, would my insurance go up dramatically (in CA)? Currently with Allstate, I pay 1200/6 months with a good student discount... should i expect around a 50% increase?


    I used my collision coverage from Allstate, and I made an appointment with the body shop. I'm thinking it's going to be a total loss...
  • Were there any witnesses, to possibly verify wether or not the other vehicle was driving without their headlights on?
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858 Paragraph school.


    ..a very low-key steer toward better readability.


    That was classy. Communicating the understanding might now proceed sans visual impairment.


    Again, that was 4.0......ez
  • there were about two witness whom the other party claimed to have seen everything... i didn't get hold of any witnesses as I was trying to get the police to the scene as quickly as possible.


    Funny thing is, I reckon those witness didn't even see the accident! What I saw was the other party entering the nearest bar and calling out some DRUNK people who came out, saying that they were witnesses! I was very perturbed by that! I think I'm going to go back to the scene and try to get hold of this one possible witness, who was a security guard standing in front of a store at the time.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    applies depends on your state law...remember, whenever I state insurance info, I am familiar with Georgia laws, which is a "fault state", having given up "no fault" in 1991...time for new paragraph...


    Comparative negligence (as opposed to contributory negligence, very important terms in case of liability and possible compensation, both pain and suffering, and for vehicle repair by the supposed "at-fault" party's insurance) means that the percentage of negligence by each party is used to raise or lower their percentage of example follows in the next paragraph...


    If you are 20% at fault, and the other guy is 80% at fault, then if you were awarded for your injuries, say, $10,000.00, then it would be reduced by your negligence percentage, or 20%, so you would receive $8,000.00 out of the actual award of $10, paragraph...


    Contributory negligence (some states have this) means that even if you are only 1% negligent, and the other guy is 99% negligent, any negligence on your part means you cannot collect anything, even if you lost both legs due to the other guy's 99% fault in the wreck...your 1% bars you from anything, as you also "contributed" to the wreck and your own injuries...not too many states have this, fortunately...


    Georgia is a "comparative hybrid" state, meaning that as long as the other guy is over 50% at fault, you can recover from his insurance, and any award is not reduced by your percentage of negligence...we define an accident where fault is 50-50 as a "true accident" and neither party can pursue the other for fault, as they share equal blame...this is why medpay helps, along with rental car insurance...sometimes the two insurances are not sure who is liable, and it may take a few weeks to locate witnesses and compute liability...if you do not have medpay or rental insurance, you may be without a vehicle while fault is decided and your injuries (AND THOSE 8 PASSENGERS IN YOUR CAR) require treatment...add those few weeks to the time it takes for auto repair, and you might be without a vehicle for a month, fault is decided at 50-50, so while you think the other guy should pay to fix your car, the facts state have now been without a car for 3-4 weeks, and probably lost your job because you "saved" $15 per year by now buying rental car insurance...end of paragraph...


  • I hope, for your sake that the security guy did see, and notice wether or not, that other vehicle had their lights on.


    Funny thing about witnesses, sometimes they don't really see.....


    Several years ago, my mom was involved in a crash...definitely was no accident. An older male driving a minivan pulled out from a stop sign. Mom had right of way on 45mph posted road. The offender never looked, and pulled out just seconds before mom hit them. She hit her brakes the instant the van moved.


    She hit them w/Dodge Shadow, at about 25mph, and knocked van on it's side. Police came and questioned the 3 witnesses that were on scene. They told the police that Mom had pulled out in front of minivan. Because by the time they actually saw the crash, it had progressed, and they thought it looked like mom was at fault.


    Well, the police couldn't question the older man, he was in shock, and his wife was unconscious. Tragic thing was they were just returning from hospital, wife was in, for injuries recieved from accident that was her fault. Sadly she never recovered. They were both in their 80s.


    Police questioned Mom, and Forensics did the recreation and investigation. The facts backed up Mom's version of the events. The witnesses were totally wrong. It came out,after the fact, that these witnesses actually hadn't seen a thing, and came upon the scene as the dust was settling.


    Hopefully those drunken bar customers won't know a thing, and the door man will.
  • that is a tragic story, but nothing that your mom could've done i guess as the other party was actually proven to be at-fault.


    Well I keep replaying the whole incident in my head... i will go see the security guard once i have the chance. I might be wrong about the whole thing as it happened in a flash...


    many things are going to be revealed tomorrow. i'm keeping my fingers crossed.
  • One of the most obvious factors in that case, was the skidmarks that led to Mom's car, came up from the right of way direction. That put the ball in Mom's court even before the investigation. That only took them a day to figure it all out.


    The state also revoked the driving privliges of the offender.


    I have only been in one serious crash, and only my car was involved. It was a totally surreal experience. I was aware of the whole thing from start to finish. But I'm quite sure it's nothing like your experience, involving contact with another vehicle.


    I really do hope you find out in your favor.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    ok - i was expecting someone else to ask - but since no one else is - i will: what does the police report say?


    (you probably have to go to the clerk of the court's office in the county you had the accident in, and show proof of identification (and maybe have some cash on you) to obtain a copy of the report).


    i think (this is just my opinion) that unless the information supporting your scenario is in the police report - it isn't likely it would be considered by the insurance company.


    regardless - i'd get a copy of that report.
  • is there a separate report made by the police that I am not supposed to receive? I got a carbon copy of the report written by the officer at the incident, and in it there's only a drawing of what happened, and nothing else.


    my adjustor said she'll look into the possibility after i mentioned about the headlights. but again, i will have to ask the witness to confirm it.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i don't know. in metro GA, i think it's true that the report is typically prepared later.


    the police hands you a ticket / citation (if you're in the wrong) at least which has a citation number, and possibly a court case # and date.


    as to if that constitues the full report - in your case, I can't say.


    is there a phone number on the paper you were handed for you to call? were you cited / fined? do you have to appear in court?


    a piece of paper with a drawing is nothing but artwork.
  • I followed closely to the car accident experienced by y2kgts in November 2002 with his Denali... but haven't got the end of it.


    I recently had similar accident to our Toyota Matrix 2005, 6 days out of dealer, 136 miles, somebody "disobeyed" a stop sign and hit the car at the left front corner of the driver side. The police had given the person a ticket for "disobeying stop sign". Luckily my wife hit the brake, otherwise, the car would hit the driver door side! My wife still has neck/shoulder pain and got very emotional due to the accident.


    The next day after the accident, the insurance company of the party at-fault had determined that they are liable. They said that they will repair the car, give rental car, and will talk about diminish value (DV) later after the car been repaired. This is not fair to us if they just repair the car and then later settle with a low DV. We bought the car for $21K, incl extended warranty. The adjuster from my insurance company has taken a look the car and said that it would cost $8-12K repair, he will recommend a new car if I claim with my insurance, I think that if I claim with my insurance co., they will sue the other party for the brand new car. I haven't been able to reach my claim officer to confirm about his report.


    I'd like to get some helps here:


    1) I'd really like to know the resolution of y2kgts insurance claim, if only a kind soul out there still remembers it, or if y2kgts could kindly answer my question.


    2) How should I deal with the their insurance company to get a brand new car replacement? For example:

    - ask them to repair the car, and pay the difference between the trade-in and the new car price

    - Total the car

    - Pay off my financing and just take my car as is

    - etc


    3) Is it proper/customary practice in the world of insurance claim that the DV must be determined after the car is repaired, how to set the pre-loss value, and who determines the DV (dealer?)?

    I am afraid that they will go through this route (fix the car and set the DV later) to set a low DV that would not be enough to trade our car with a new car.


    4) Do I need to hire an attorney and sue the insurance company or sue the party at-fault for the DV?


    We do not demand anything else but a fair replacement with the same brand new car.


    I really appreciate any help... when I am through this hell of experience I will summarize it... well probably good time to create a blog :)
  • well the title contains the following words: "Traffic Collision Report- property damage only". There were no citations made at the incident, and I don't see any phone numbers or court case dates. I believe this is an official police report as my insurange adjustor wanted the report number of it. Are citations always made to the party considered to be at-fault? can it be made days after the accident? I'm getting worried now...


    well today i didn't really find out much. I went to the body shop, and my car was there with antifreeze leaking out. I just signed the paperwork regarding the inspection, and i'll have an estimate by wednesday.


    I went back to the scene just now to find that security guy, but he was not present, so I'll check back on him later.


    not to offend anyone here who owns a focus, but i really miss my elantra, as compared to this newer 04 focus se model i got for rental. but i'm just going off topic...
  • Finally found a car I kinda liked and.... <sigh>


    Atlanta 2001 Toyota Camry Solara Convertible SLE Coupe, Auto 3L V6 RWD, loaded (6xCD changer, leather,alloys, etc.), 55-60k, Silver/black, mostly new (85%+) shoes, original brake pads. Maintained carefully, but has more road love than I'd like. (I was seriously considering getting some work done on the bumpers). Windshield is about 3 weeks old.


    Friend borrowed it to meet their son at the ER. Scuffed it up a little in the ice storm on the way back - Collision center says about $4000-5000 worth, depending on how badly the front of the frame turns out. The other 8 cars looked worse... but cheaper...


    I'm really needing a truck at the moment, so I'd idly pondered letting it go anyway.


    Am I right that I'm lookin at about $12k ACV on a really good day? Any guesses as to the DV?


    I carry liability only, but their comp carrier indicated they'd be covering it. (Somehow the multiple emphasis on "he only has liability" missed them the first 30 times... <sigh>


    I'm currently researching trading it in on a new car & just callimng the claim the difference between "average-good" TMV & tradein allowance. Would it matter who I structured the trade with? (i.e. is a Toyota worth more to a toyota dealer?)



  • every new car I have ever purchased has been the same way. I was even told by my insurance company that if I had purchased a car I had automatic coverage for a short grace period. The dealer asked for and made a copy of my current insurance card before I left his lot.
  • I am looking into changing insurance companies and have a question. Three years ago my ex had an accident in a car I owned and insured. He is no longer on my insurance, and the car is no longer around (He totaled it in the accident). Do I need to report this accident when I apply for new insurance because I owned the car and it was insured by me? Some people have told me that I only need to report it if it is within the timeframe the insurance company asks about, such as 3 or 5 years for accidents and violations, but want to make sure I am reporting correctly. thanks!
  • rickvhrickvh Posts: 28
    You should tell the person who's getting you the quote everything that could be on there. If it was a claim on your insurance it will show up on the clue report and you'll have to give the reason you stated that it wasnt you that was the driver.
  • My wife and I just bought a 2005 GMC Yukon on 2/14. We drive it home from the dealership at about 9:30 PM and all is great. She drives the Yukon into work yesterday morning and then leaves for lunch that afternoon. As she is driving home for lunch a 1994 Ford Taurus runs a stop sign and drives out in front of her. She cannot swerve enough to miss him. Thankfully everyone was OK. The front left of the Yukon strikes his rear left quarter panel. We don't have an update on damages yet. We had to file an uninsured motorist claim with our insurance(Geico) as the other driver has no coverage. It is a no-fault accident so we will not be responsible for a deductible.


    My biggest concern now is what can we do. The new vehicle has all of 100 miles on it - it is brand spanking new. We had the thing for less that 24 hours. I am thinking that it will never be the same no matter how flawless the repair work is. I have read about substitution of collateral but I am not sure if it is something worth pursuing..?? Or really how to even approach that with insurance? At this point an adjustor has not even looked at the vehicle so we don't know the extent of the damages. I am thinking about $4K-5K as the grill is smashed up pretty good. The point of impact fell right on the left headlight and everything was pushed back from there. Any suggestions or references that we might be able to use. Advice would certainly be appreciated.
  • I finally got an estimate for my hyundai elantra 03. The repair cost is $8500! All this time I was thinking it would be a total loss, but they just surprised me with this. The ACV of this vehicle should be under $10,000, so I have no idea why they would not total it.


    The completion date is set at 3/31, so now I have to pay for my rental car for a whole month out of my pocket... I deeply regret not purchasing rental coverage =(


    no sign of my claims adjustor yet...
  • Hello,


    Yesterday, I rear ended a car after it cut into my lane and braked. The car cut me off in order to avoid another vehicle which pulled out from a parking lot. I slowed down when I saw the vehicle leave the parking lot, but I expected the car next to me to slow down--not cut me off and then brake. The other driver and I called the police and an officer came. We both told the same story, and I was not ticketed. I believe the other driver got a ticket for causing the accident and a citation for not having her insurance card.


    However, the other drive told me that I shouldn't file an insurance claim against her because she said that the fault is to the person who did the rear-ending no matter what. I couldn't help but hit her because I had less than a second to react!


    Luckily, we both have the same insurance company. Would the insurance company find the rear-end accident my fault even though the other driver cut me off before braking and got a ticket for causing the accident?
  • what kind of person has the guts to tell you that after they cut you off like that and cause an accident?


    it should be clear to anyone that she was the one at fault, as indicated by the citation along with a ticket by the police officer.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703

    while one is supposed to be aware of what happens in front of them, but there are exceptions...if the other driver was cited for cutting you off, then you are not at fault, and their insurance is liable...whoever told you that, I believe, is not quite also depends if the other party was ticketed...if it was a 50-50 "true accident" then neither party recovers and each uses their own insurance for repairs...



    you should answer what they ask you, not what you think they might ask you...if the wreck occurred within the time frame they ask, tell them it was your ex driving, not your poor driving that caused the wreck...knowing the ex is gone may certainly help with better not lie, because their master computers can reveal your error in seconds...always pays to be honest... but, answer what is asked...if a wreck happened in 2001, and they ask if any wrecks occurred in the last 3 years (for those educated in public schools, that means 2005-2001 equals 4 years) so the answer is NO...always be truthful, not just because it is the right thing to do, but lying on an application, if found out later (even 5 years later) can void the contract, and you suddenly find you have no insurance...their only legal obligation is to refund your premiums paid over the last 5 years, but not to insure you, because you made a false statement on an insurance app, so they issued a policy under "false pretenses" and they can void the policy when you make a claim...can ruin your day, if you ask me...
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,798
    Take the $8,500 - deductible and count your blessings... you'll be getting what the car is worth, probably more than wholesale.

    The alternative is owning a repaired 03 Elantra, worth maybe $5, maybe $4.

    It's not much of a choice, is it?

  • $15k damage on a $30K car is not even close to being totalled, so I'm not sure how they will pull that one off.

    But, the bigger question here, I think, is what happens at the end of the lease? I never thought about this. Is there some wording in a lease that exempts the leasee from having to pay money at trade-in time as a result of the accident? Obviously, this kills the value of the vehicle at lease end, so would the car company just wind up taking a bath on it, or would it be the responsibility of the leasee to pay diminished value?

    I am in a similar situation. I just bought a brand new $43K vehicle for only 2 weeks when I was hit by the other driver. Police report said it's definitely her fault. The estimated cost to repair it was $20K. The list of items to repair is 3 pages long just for the parts list. And neither my ins comp or her ins comp want to total it. So they're fixing it. It's been more than 2 months now and I still haven't gotten by car back yet. The bodyshop kept giving excuses after excuses. The estimated finish date has been postponed 3 times now. Is there someone I can file a complain with? Or what power do I have to get them to speed it up. It seems like they're enjoying delaying it, too. Just today I called them up and asked if it's close to finish, and their response was "I wish". This is really frustrating. I read California Insurance Commission and the Auto Repair Bureau said they only settle a repair dispute. Is this consider a repair dispute or is it only when they repair isn't done right???

    I feel like I'm getting screwed every step of the way.

    Any advice??? Thanks.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    ..when you upgrade to Stuttgart country....(j/k) ez
  • Short answer:


    The mfr / dealer has no responsibility to provide you a replacement vehicle after an accident even if it was the next block over after you drove it off. I'm pretty sure, your insurance has similar limitations absolving them of this too. Their responsibility is to repair the damage that you vehicle sustained.

    Now, the other ins company (we presume the other party is at fault) may have some liability, but you'll need patience and probably a lawyer.
  • "However, the other drive told me that I shouldn't file an insurance claim against her because she said that the fault is to the person who did the rear-ending no matter what. I couldn't help but hit her because I had less than a second to react! "

    That's rich,

    File the claim, it's going to be her fault, the citation / ticket proves that. Forget about and medical claims though (same ins co) unless there are "hard" injuries.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,708
    That its fairly hard to get an insurance company to total a car. After my mom hit the moose with her 02 Legacy I thought for sure they would total the car........nope.

    They valued it at $13,500 and the damage estimate was $8157. Its currently being fixed.
  • That its fairly hard to get an insurance company to total a car. After my mom hit the moose with her 02 Legacy I thought for sure they would total the car........nope.

    They valued it at $13,500 and the damage estimate was $8157. Its currently being fixed.

    But I had people telling me that lawyers can get ins comps to total it. But when I asked for names of the lawyers, they all said they forgot or don't exactly know. So is that real? Can lawyers use some form of litigation threats to get ins comp to total it???

    I've personally called up about a dozen car accident lawyers. Half of them said they don't take the case unless it involved ambulance and ER stay right after the accident. The other half said they can only deal with the medical side of the accident and not the property. They said the reason for that is that the property has to be taken care of right away and there's little profit in that. The somewhat "honest" ones will tell you that and also said that I'm at the mercy of the ins comp. What is up with that???
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    As a sidenote regarding what happens in front of you while driving, I was involved in an accident in 1997. I was making a left turn in a left turn only lane. There was not a "green arrow" so the right of way was dictated by the green light. It was heavy traffic and the person coming in the opposite direction waved me through while the light was turning yellow. As I passed through, someone passed the person opposite me(the one who waved me through) on the shoulder of the road to beat the red light. It was deemed that I was 100 % at fault (i.e. straight ahead driver always has the right of way even when out of the lane and running red lights). Luckily, the driver that hit me was not a suing parasite and I only had 39 months of increased insurance payments.
  • A friend was driving my car (with permission), got too close to a parked car as he pulled up to a red light, and knocked the driver's side mirror off (a late model VW Jetta). No damage to my car at all. A police officer happened to be right nearby, and filled out an accident report for him--no ticket of any kind was issued. I called my insurance agent (State Farm) to let them know, and filed a claim. The agent told me that she didn't think it would raise my premium, and that I had no deductable. The adjuster called today, and I again asked about the rise in my premium.. she said she didn't know but felt that it probably wouldn't make a difference. However, I had her tell the person with the VW to call me, if he wants, after having the estimate done and that I may be willing to pay out of pocket (I don't know how to get ahold of that person myself). The adjuster said she didn't know for sure, but felt that if the claim was unpaid it probabaly wouldn't count against me.
    My question is, once the claim has been made, is it worth my while to try to pay out of pocket instead of having the insurance company pay--does this make any difference to them? Does it matter if it is less than or more than $750? I have read two things online that I am thinking about this--1st that state farm doesn't care about your first accident (I am otherwise completely accident and ticket free)-- and second they don't care if it's under $750 (I have no idea how much replacing the mirror costs). Is this true? In which conditions would this count as the first count against me (if they start counting on the second count in two years)? I should also mention that I have been with State Farm in one way or another for 12 years, first with my parent's policy, and now for 2 years on my own, but only for 9 months in this state. I should also mention that I have zero deductable on my comprehensive, but that I have a 92 Nissan Sentra and after what I read on online it seems that I should drop comprehensive all together--I live in Chicago and it is espensive. I do have good liability coverage.
    Again, my main question is, once the claim has been made, is it worth my while to try to pay out of pocket instead of having the insurance company pay--does this make any difference to them?
  • I speak from mostly ignorance, but I find the proposition that State Farm would give you a "freebie" or look past a particular dollar amount to be, umm, less than compelling. The industry (and I think SF in particular) makes very, very sure it accurately profiles risk.

    WRT the comprehensive on your 92 Sentra - yes, yes, drop it like a hot potato. I'm a max deductible person myself, but I'm pretty sure for the price of comprehensive you can easily afford to pull door dents & replace windshields every few years.

    The last time I popped a side mirror in a parking garage it cost me $4.73 for a tube of epoxy and $80 to get the local dealer's traveling paint guy to touch it up next time he did the dealer's cars... I probably got ripped off, but it was cheaper than the couple of bills it might otherwise have cost me. I'd venture the only mirror assemblies that cost over $250 match the prancing stallion on the hood badge...

    Also, I'd humbly suggest you re-consider your position on deductibles - if you're concerned about making a claim like this, you have a deductible (in your mind) but you're paying for 1st dollar coverage. I think your concern about raised premiums is justified, but then why pay extra only to eat the first $250-$500 of a potential claim for fear of rate hikes?)

    N.B. For the record, I subscribe to the philosophy that regards insurance as a hedge against unforseen lifestyle-altering disasters. Many look at it as a payment plan. (c.f American health care) I consider these people imbeciles. I'm sure they return the favor.
  • I certainly agree with you (after educating myself a bit about it) about comprehensive and deductables. The first-strike-doesn't count thing for State Farm I read about online. Perhaps someone more knowledgable knows.
    Here's a question: let's say someone has a $1000 deductable, and cause (like in this case) $500 damage to another car. The other car has the right (as in my case) to file a claim with my insurance company and recieve their check from them (particularly in this case where the driver of the other car wasn't present). Even though the $500 would be out of pocket becaues of the $1000 deductable, does the insurance company count it as a claim for the purposes of increasing premiums?? How does this compare to having no deductable?
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    It seems that you have a misunderstanding here. The other driver makes a claim for the $500 damage done to his vehicle against your policy's property damage (PD) liability. In my jurisdiction, there is no deductible offered on this coverage.

    The deductibles (e.g. $1000) apply against the comprehensive and/or collision coverage on your own vehicles.
  • Yes, that makes sense to me. Thanks for clearing that up.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    From state farm in Florida, I would need to increase my liability limits from 100/300 to 250/500, cost for that is $700. Then the $1M umbrella policy would cost an additional $900/yr.

    That is for 4 vehicles, wife and I have perfect driving records with two comprehensive claims. 20 yr old son with two tickets and no accidents. 17 yr old son with no tickets but two accidents, total damage between the two accidents was about $6K after a $1K deductible for each.

    I felt $1600 additional to get umbrella policy was kinda high. Any ideas?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Each insurance company sets their own parameters to classify a car as totaled, but it is my impression that the repairs have to exceed (depending on the company) 75%, 80%, or as high as 85% of the value of the vehicle for them to total it...if, say, it is 80% with your company, if the vehicle is worth $13,500, 80% is $10,800 and 85% is $11,475...$8,157 is only 60% of the vehicle's value of $13,500, so no attorney will get them to total it...while you may not like having a vehicle that was virtually rebuilt after collision, I can't see any attorney forcing any company to total your car just because you feel the damage is excessive...the formula is the formula...

    as far as attorneys representing you on PD (property damage, aka vehicular damage)...we do not represent clients for PD simply for one reason: if we take 1/3 of the money allocated for damage repair, no one would ever have sufficient funds to repair their cars...contrary to common belief, with minor differences between adjusters, the cost of repair is simple math, and the repair value is rarely subject to negotiation...I only represent clients for BI (bodily injury), and no, we do not "throw in" PD representation for free...the cost to fix your car is what it is, and no attorney is going to add anything to exception, but you don't need an attorney for paragraph

    make sure the adjuster knows what your car is, meaning that he/she (hereafter, "he" to save time and space) should not pay you for a Honda Accord DX at $16,000, when you had an EX/Leather for $25,000...those mistakes can be verified by the car owner quite simply...also, routine maintenance will not be reimbursed, so a brake job done last week, or 4 new tires installed last week will not be reimbursed, as this is routine maintenance...if you replaced an engine or transmission in the last 6 months, and have receipts to prove it, you may receive additional compensation for your loss, up to about 50% of your original cost...
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Most umbrella policies that I have seen usually raise limits to $1 million, rarely costing over $250-300 yearly, but, with 4 cars and 2 young drivers with some minor-to-moderate problems, maybe that amount isn't thing to do is price-shop 2 or 3 companies...if they are all similar, may be best to bite the bullet, or throw the kids to the wolves...just kidding...maybe
  • mandmmandm Posts: 2

    Last year I got in an accident on Christmas morning when my car hydroplaned in the rain. My car was totalled and the driver is always at fault in these kind of accidents, so it counted against me. About 13 months later, this past January, I was backing slowly out of my driveway and was hit by a driver that was going approximately 25-30 mph right before a stop sign. My house has the stop sign in front, so it was not far. She said that my car blended into the street and she wasn't paying attention. I told her that I would take care of it because I did not want the accident to go onto my insurance because of the last accident. She went crazy and was pleading with me to not call the police. She said she did not have insurance, she was evicted from her apartment and was fired from her job. She called a friend to pick her up and left her car in the middle of my street, because the front right tire was popped. She would not give me her name or anything and yelled at me and my neighbors who were trying to be nice. When she did not show up after 30 min we called the police. 3 cop cars showed up, they detained the men that had picked her up, taken her somewhere, and came back by themselves to try to move the car. The cops did not end up arrested them for aiding and abetting. Turns out the girl has a warrant out for her arrest. I found out that it was for drug dealing when I got the police report from the detective when I went to the police station to identify her in pictures. She is charged with a hit and run, even though the accident is technically seen as my fault. Her car was impounded. In order to get it out she will have to come clean with everything else she has to deal with and get insurance. The detective told me to expect a subpoena... for the hit and run case...The question is: Should I get my car fixed myself, or go through the insurance, in which case my insurance will probably go up significantly? It has been a month, I have been driving my mom's car, and I would really like my car back. What do you recommend that I do? Sorry that was long, Thanks for reading...
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,798
    That was an interesting story, but all that matters to your question is here:

    "[..[I was backing slowly out of my driveway and was hit[..]"
    "[..]the accident is technically seen as my fault."

    "Should I get my car fixed myself, or go through the insurance"
    Fix it yourself if you can afford it. Two at-fault accidents so close together will send your rates through the roof.

    Good luck,
    [not a professional]
  • mandmmandm Posts: 2
    Thanks for the response. I wanted to just pay for the car myself but...What if the girl does end up getting her car out of impound and claims against my insurance. Won't it count against me then anyway, and will be wasting my money to fix my car myself? Or will I have the option to pay for her car myself?

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    that the accident was your fault, because anyone entering the road from a driveway usually has to yield to all oncoming traffic...if you can prove that she was speeding (skid marks or high impact collision on a residential street) then you may share fault equally, which, in this case, would prevent her from going after YOUR insurance for her damages, and may save you something...

    If it is all your fault, you should probably find out how much the vehicle damages (did she suffer any bodily injury damages???) will cost you...if the damages to repair the cars is, say, under $1,000 for both, you may wish to consider paying out of pocket...if $2,000 or more (especially more) you will probably want to have insurance pay it...what you are really doing is comparing the insurance increased cost over the next 3-5 years to the cost of paying for the damages yourself...I am also assuming that your company keeps you and only raises your premium, only you can decide if the cost is worth the risk of being discarded by the insurance company...
  • Query for my sister: On Friday, 2/18 while waiting at a light for the intersection to clear. Two cars collided in front of her and then bounced into her car.

    Her landlord, who operates a tow company showed up on scene and was assigned to another of the vehicles. He told her he could come back for her car. (He would have left it in her driveway so their would be no storage fee.) She was understandably pretty shook and was surprised later to realize her car was gone and had been towed by another tow operator to his storage yard. (Her landlord also told her that he had looked at the car and in his opinion it could have been driven home, a distance of only two miles)

    The police officer told her the report would be ready on 2/23 and she figured that insurance would pay for the storage. On Saturday 2/19 she called her insurance company to report the accident. She did not have the names of the other drivers or their insurance yet but she did tell her insurance company that she was standing at a light and that she was not at fault.

    On Monday 2/21 her insurance company called her, told her that her car was totaled and made her an offer of $1,500 for a car that bluebooks at $2,500 and that she had spent $1,100 that week. They told her since they had made an offer that if she didn't accept the offer she would have to pay the towing fees and storage and they would not pay for a rental car.

    She has still not been able to talk to the other insurance companies and does not know yet IF the other drivers are insured or not. She has called the police every day since the accident...still no police report, and they claim she must talk to the investigating officer to get any information on the other parties insurance. The officer hasn't called back despite several requests. Today is 10 days.

    She feels like her car was stolen by being towed without asking her. She is afraid that if she takes it out of the tow yard that negates her insurance company's offer and she has no idea whether the other two drivers are insured or not (she has full coverage with Progressive)

    She wants to wait and if the other drivers are insured have them pay rather than the pittance offered by her own insurance company. She feels like she is being colluded against by the insurance companies and police and wonders if the late police report which keeps her from taking rational action is a way for the police to help the tow operators make a bit more $$$. I think it's pretty weird that her own insurance company would make an offer the TWO DAYS after being notified when NO approach had been made to the insurance companies for the drivers at fault. He insurance company not only made a lowball offer but they almost threatened her that she MUST accept it or she pays all the tow charges and storage fees and takes the chance that IF the drivers at fault are not covered she has no recourse with her own company at that point. This seems really wrong to me. We are in New Mexico, any helpful advice would be gratefully received.
  • Mmm, if you were in Georgia, my idle and unreliable speculation would be...

    I can't see how it's possible for your sister to be "at fault" in any meaningful sense - based on the only side of the story we know she was obeying all traffic regulations when two other people collided, leading to her car being hit.

    To me, this is a clear liability case - here's where I get unreliable. As I understand tort law in the US, she is entitled to be "made whole", which in this case is the retail (aka "replacement") value of the vehicle, any rental, loss of use, atty. fees, etc. The insurance company's only role in a liability situation is to write checks. Naturally, they would _much_ rather you think the claim is...

    The opposite of a tort claim is a contractual claim. I'm thinking comprehensive/collision claims are almost always contractual in nature. This is unfortunate for everyone but the insurers, as the rules are defined by whatever the parties agreed to in the contract. Since insurers usually have rafts of lawyers (re)writing their contracts, you can guess who is in the driver's seat in this case.

    In the case of uninsured motorists, Geico makes me (re)sign a Un/underinsured Motorist & Bodily Injury refusal every time the contract renews. UMBI is dirt cheap, and means that for non-injury accidents you don't _care_ if the someone is uninsured because your company is on the hook for their liability.

    I can't speak for NM cops, but in GA incompetence explains a lot more than malice. It is highly unlikely that cops would make a habit of colluding with insurers, since that can land them in jail. Jail is full of people who have a special place in their heart for cops. Absent habitual collaboration, it's hard to make a case that $1500-2500 would be large enough to get them to risk the exposure.

    On the 2-day settlement offer, her insurer was probably just trying to unload the case for their minimum expected payout - I'd guess they'd have a hard time breaking even trying to recover $1,500. (Around here, lawyers start at $120/hr and a court appearance never takes less than 2-3 hours) BTW, her car wasn't stolen, it was removed from an accident scene. Real world, the cops don't need your permission to do anything.

    The Progressive position sounds like a snow job, but you'll only know that after carefully examining your policy documents and coming to a conclusion as to what kind of claim this is.

    Happily, says New Mexico has a $10k small claims court, a limit that easily covers this case. Small claims is "Judge Judy" style - Go sue everyone but the police for everything you can think of. (Don't go crazy, but include everything reasonable you can think of. I assure you, the other side will have no hesitation in explaining why they aren't responsible for a particular claim. Make them do their job & let the court sort it out). Worst case is one of the insurer's attorneys will explain to you why they think you dont have a case. (Which you may not)

    Good luck!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    gregjohnson is correct, here in GA, there is often police incompetence...I do not believe that you can just pick and choose who tows your car, especially if it is near traffic and could be a potential hazard, anyone available may tow it... it would be smart to check your car in kelly blue book ( and argue with the property adjuster on the value of your car...not knowing NM law, and I do not know if the NM insurance commissioner has what it takes to manufacture in GA, Commissioner Oxendine is OK, but could be more consumer oriented...not lawyer oriented, mind you, but consumer oriented...a number of posts back, we discussed why lawyers do not represent clients on PD (property damage), and this is where an insurance commissioner with cujones can make insurance companies stand up and bark on command, or he/she can pull their license or can fine them for nonperformance...but you need a commissioner who remembers what they campaigned on, and that seems to be a "small" problem...
  • rickvhrickvh Posts: 28
    You should ask your agent about this one. If the other driver was cited for hit and run and has no insurance, I dont think this could count against you. Either way though, you should report it to the insurance company even if you decide to pay it. Its very likely you have a clause in your insurance agreement that you must at least report any accidents. In case something happens in court later and she decides to sue you or something.

    But your insurance company can only count it against you if you make the claim. There shouldnt be any harm in you simply asking what would happen if you paid it. Some states even have regulations that dont allow them to hold it against you for asking a question. But in any case, your agent is the best person to help you figure out the best way to handle it.
  • rickvhrickvh Posts: 28
    What was the extent of the damage to the car? If its drivable just go pick it up from the tow yard, if its pretty much in tact with a minor dent or something, i'd counter offer with $2000 and return of the "salvage".

    I'm thinking they looked at the value of the car and decided it was easier to just slate it a total loss instead of spending any time at all on it.

    I'd check with the other drivers' insurance companies and see what they want to offer too. Remember, they (progressive or at fault drivers insurance co.) are responsible to restore lost wages and loss of use as well as pay out for bodily injury and whatever their rate for vehicle replacement is.
  • I was legally separated from my ex last Dec. We did not separate our insurance policy until Oct.
    In Aug he plowed into someone and the damages exceed insurance. Am I responsible for his damages. We are now divorced.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    My guess would be NO. And even if you were still married, you wouldn't be responsible. Of course, they could take his half of anything you own jointly, but again, that's only if you were still married.

    Now if your name was still on the title at the time of the accident, then that's a different story.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,104
    I am not a lawyer, nor do I have any legal expertise. However, whatever is outlined in your divorce agreement should trump what's on the title, insurance, etc. It was signed by a judge, and if your divorce agreement decrees him sole owner and solely responsible for that vehicle, then it's his problem.


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