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Accident advice needed

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by kenster888, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. kenster888

    kenster888 Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    436
    Massachusetts
    Someone I know was involved in a car accident. The police report clearly shows that it was the other driver's fault (and the other driver got a ticket for failure to yield). Now the other driver's insurance company claims that since the police were not there at the exact time of the accident the report is invalid so they offer to pay only 90% of the damage (which is total BS) instead of 100%. We're talking about roughly $1800 of damage and 10% of that is no big deal. But I'm very upset at the games that the insurance companies play. Furthermore, why should this person pay 10% when she is not at fault?

    What would happen if she refuses to settle at 90%? What are her options and what would you do in this case? Take the 90% and forget about it? Tell the insurance company to f-off and sue the other driver in small claims court? or ???

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,959
    Milton, Wash.
    Full Name:
    Jeff B.
    I'd tell them to put their offer in writing, signed, dated, on company letterhead, with the exact reason for their refusal to pay 100% on the damages. Or else pay off in full. I'll bet they won't be willing to put it in writing.
     
  4. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    22,223
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    I don't know what to do about the insurance company. But here's an idea, from recent experience:

    My mom's old Caddy was totalled in Jan, as we (I was driving) crossed an intersection an 18yr old blew a stop sign and hit our car by the right front wheel. A lady pulled right over and said she was a witness and that he ran the sign - and that she'd file a police report if necessary. The kid tried to deny he didn't give us right of way. So, we called the cops.

    Then we turned up the pressure on the kid saying he was 18, going to get ROASTED on his insurance and a ticket from the cops, but if he'd pay for the repairs cash (or buy the car for it's used bluebook, which was less than the repairs) we'd call off the police and settle it w/o insurance. Called his father, who eventually agreed to pay (we got the son to sign a contract right there accepting liability); after checking out the car with a mechanic buddy of his later in the week they just paid us the bluebook and took the car. Interestingly enough, when the cops arrived and we said we'd settle it privately, they were relieved they didn't have to handle it and said, "yeah, at only 18 he'd get *screwed* by the ins. co's, and the demerit points from a ticket..." and then drove off. It worked out well for us, as we were trying to get rid of it and probably couldn't get bluebook for it otherwise.

    So, perhaps your friend could offer to the other side to drop the insurance companies from the matter and they just pay up in cash -- I'm sure if they're even 90% at fault their insurance will leap in premiums more than $1800 over the next 3-5 years.
     
  5. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2001
    21,940
    Panther City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Will
    Wow, I never heard of a claim like that before. Almost sounds like a stunt FARMERS would pull. What insurance company is she dealing with? Keep sure to tell your friend that by law, she has the right to have it fix at any shop of her choice, not the insurance companies. Get three estimates for the job, remember it’s an estimate of repair, not the final cost of repair. Most likely a supplement payment for the extra work. I had too many insurance companies that wanted to cheat me on this. Check with your rights with the Insurance Act in your state, this is one of the best tools I can recommend. Good luck & give them Hell.
     
  6. MikeZ_NJ

    MikeZ_NJ Formula 3

    Dec 10, 2002
    1,533
    Southern NJ
    Full Name:
    Mike Z.
    From what I understand, insurance companies do this all the time. My Mom was in a really bad accident a bunch of years back, and it was 100% the other drivers fault (she plowed into the side of my Mom's car after attempting an illegal turn). There were a number of injuries to my Mom, but the insurance company said that there was an 80-20 fault. Didn't matter much anyway, as everything got paid and there was compensation for the injuries, but yeah, it's pretty ridiculous.

    I think they claim something to the effect of "well, even though the other driver did something ILLEGAL to cause the accident, you had a 20% chance of avoiding the accident." Insurance companies are such scam artists.
     
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  8. tifosi

    tifosi F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Sep 5, 2001
    5,382
    texas
    Full Name:
    Tom D
    i assume it is not in NJ since NJ is a no-fault state. I have also not heard of apportioning claims based on fault, the whole purpose of insurance is for when people make mistakes and damage property
     
  9. MikeZ_NJ

    MikeZ_NJ Formula 3

    Dec 10, 2002
    1,533
    Southern NJ
    Full Name:
    Mike Z.
    I can ask for more details, but that's exactly what was described to my Mom at the time. It was in NJ. We were floored when we heard it.

    Edit: As mentioned earlier, everything did get paid for. I think the fault might have been used for assessing "insurance points."
     
  10. MikeZ_NJ

    MikeZ_NJ Formula 3

    Dec 10, 2002
    1,533
    Southern NJ
    Full Name:
    Mike Z.
    Please disregard my last two posts. I just talked to my Mom, it wasn't an insurance company thing... when the cop was writing the report, he said that there was a 20% chance she could have avoided it, and that's where the 80-20 fault came into play. She had it a little mixed up at first, because that fault was a factor that influenced the payout of the insurance companies.

    You're absolutely correct.
     
  11. kenster888

    kenster888 Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    436
    Massachusetts
    Thank you all for your input.

    I still think these guys are scumbags. But at least I feel better now.
     
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