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Freeway Smash - need basic insurance advice

Discussion in 'California (Southern)' started by lusso64, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. lusso64

    lusso64 Formula 3

    Apr 12, 2004
    1,535
    Simi Valley
    Full Name:
    David
    Hi all, I am writing from Tahiti on my honeymoon. Unfortunately, my father has been involved in a serious (although not life threatening) accident on the 134 a few days ago. He was out from Australia to mind my 2 1/2 yo son while we have been gallavanting around the South Pacific. Forthunately he and my son are fine, but Dad has a fractured sternum and a few other bruises.

    The accident was NOT his fault - the CHP have charged another driver, who pulled out of the stationary left lane into the fast moving car pool lane, right into my father's path.

    The car was my wife's Oldsmobile, which is now totalled.

    I have a question about insurance - the Olds is fully insured with Nationwide. Dad has a valid Aussie D/L and the CHP were fine with that. He has travel insurance that will cover some of his expenses.

    Should we file a claim with OUR insurance (and the possibility that Dad's medical costs might never be fully covered as he is not a listed driver), or do we independently sue the offending driver?

    Having never had to file a claim here, I don't know what the best procedure is. Any advice? We are heading back to LA in the next 36 hours so will reply to any suggestions then.

    Thanks.

    Dave T
     
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  3. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    Jul 26, 2004
    15,179
    Full Name:
    IgnoranteWest
    Dave, You should first find out if the other party (the at fault party) has insurance. If they do, you should file a claim with that party's insurance company. Next, you should call your own company and report the accident. If you have an agent, call your agent first, if not, call their claims number directly.

    Your agent/company should be able to give you advice on how to proceed if the other party is uninsured.

    Without knowing the details of your policy and your coverages, this is the best advice I can give.
     
  4. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Glad to hear everyone is OK. Good luck sorting things out.
     
  5. Kevallino

    Kevallino Formula 3

    Feb 10, 2004
    2,248
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    Report it to your insurance company, including the other driver's insurance information. Your insurer's job is to look after you, which includes the effort to collect from the other guy's insurance. Various policies have different coverages for "guest" drivers - check yours just in case. Given that it wasn't your dad's fault, if you get crap from your insurance company for him driving or if they try to limit the payout somehow perhaps you'll want to lawyer up just in case there is a bad faith claim looming against YOUR insurance company.

    Separately if you cannot recover sufficiently from the other guy you may also wish to sue.

    Not really my area but have dealt with some of these things previously. Happy to be superceded by others with more knowledge/expertise.

    Sorry to hear about your dad's misfortune.

    Cheers
    Kevin
     
  6. FourCam

    FourCam Formula Junior

    May 19, 2004
    401
    Loveland CO
    Full Name:
    Cameron MacArthur
    You might want to consider locking down your computer and taking care of your honey on your honeymoon--forget about the Oldsmobile until you get back. It's a lot cheaper than what a pissed off bride can cost!
     
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  8. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 14, 2003
    58,937
    In front of you
    Full Name:
    BCHC
    These are the words of a very wise man! :)
     
  9. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,063
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    Wise indeed.

    Listen to the advice, or you will NEVER hear the end of it. Never.
     
  10. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    5,440
    Black Hawk, CO
    Full Name:
    Sunny
    I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I was involved in an accident where I was travelling down a wide empty street approaching a blind intersection. They had stop signs, I had right of way.

    I could not see either the stop sign or their SUV... the stop sign "line" was well in from the corner which forced people to creep out to see traffic. Generally, you make sure its clear first.

    A lady pulled out with her SUV, not even looking in my direction, and forced me to hit her or swerve. The only thing I could do was slam on my brakes. I was going to hit her straight on, but there was space to her right wide enough for me with parked cars along the curb, so that became my emergency braking zone.

    Unfortunately, right after she pulled out, she travelled 10 ft and cranked the wheel to the right to park and sandwiched me against the bumper of a parked car which scraped and dented from the front all the way to my rear wheel well, in addition to damage on the left front.

    The carrier for the other driver was Allstate. I have USAA (very good). Allstate said that because I was not approaching the corner slower than the speed limit, they claimed I was at fault.

    I provided a digital picture that showed the blind intersection 15 ft from the corner she pulled out from showing clearly that she violated my right of way.

    USAA took this issue to court. And they lost.

    CHP is not going to have any say as to who is to blame, but the insurance company, who will use any and every means necessary to deny the claim. In this case, I would be extremely saddened if they found out that if traffic is at a halt, you shouldn't be speeding down the car pool lane, even if its below the speed limit, and say your father was driving too fast for conditions.

    Insurance companies can all rot in hell.

    Sunny
     
  11. lusso64

    lusso64 Formula 3

    Apr 12, 2004
    1,535
    Simi Valley
    Full Name:
    David
    :) Remember it was her car!

    For both of us though, we couldn't wait to get back here to make sure that they are both OK. Thomas is fine and spends a little too much time making his toy cars (and trains and planes) repeatedly crash into each other, and Dad is very sore but otherwise OK.

    Having seen the pictures of the damage to all 5 vehicles involed, we are just so thankful that they are OK. The Lord was certainly riding shotgun.

    Dave
     
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  13. lusso64

    lusso64 Formula 3

    Apr 12, 2004
    1,535
    Simi Valley
    Full Name:
    David
    Well, our ins co has written off the car, but this is going to leave us about $6k out of pocket. I assume our next step is to sue the guy at fault for the $6K, or are we SOL?

    Dad is back in Australia and back at work, and is pretty much OK.

    Thanks, Dave
     
  14. gtessier

    gtessier Formula Junior

    Oct 8, 2004
    278
    OC, CA
    Do you have collision coverage on the Olds? If so, you would only be responsible for the deductible if you don't have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Do you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage? If you had liability only on the car and no UM, you are SOL.
     
  15. lusso64

    lusso64 Formula 3

    Apr 12, 2004
    1,535
    Simi Valley
    Full Name:
    David
    The problem is they are only going to pay out on market value, not what "we" owe on the car. Being a mass produced GM product, it depreciates faster than Galileo's rock.... I think the payout on her loan is about 13K and the "market" value of the car (as defined by the ins co) is 7K, which is all they'll pay.

    We only have to pay the deductible, and we might even get that back from our ins co once they recover payment from the other parties ins co. 6k may not be that much money, but I'd rather it be in our pocket than not.

    Dave
     
  16. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    5,440
    Black Hawk, CO
    Full Name:
    Sunny
    Unless your policy specifically states replacement value or an agreed upon value, they will give you market and you are SOL for the rest unless you file a claim against the other parties insurance or sue the other driver.
     
  17. blaire576

    blaire576 Rookie

    Apr 11, 2006
    5
    i pay $120 for my monthly premium, insurance premiums seemed very affordable with fantastic coverage to match. Well, if you're an individual or family who pays for health insurance today chances are you're literally getting punched in the pocket book, and it hurts. check http://www.insurancepaylite.com to see how insurance companies price
     

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