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rear ended! advice??


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Has anyone been in a similar situation? This might be a little long so I apologize in advance.

Details from wreck:

Happended Dec 17, 2008...I was stopped completely when someone hit me from behind.

person driving is not the owner of vehicle and was driving on a suspended drivers license.

I went to the ER, not by ambulance, cervical neck strain. Since then my lower back has been killing me in the mornings and I'm not sleeping well.  Headaches, a few migraines. Tried to do lunges last night and immediately my left butt cheek and the back of my left leg felt strained.  Still bothering me this morning.  this was the first time, I've tried working out since accident.

I have no idea if the owner of the vehicle's ins company is going to provide coverage.  I talked to them yesterday and all they would tell me is that there's an issue with the driver and they may not be able to provide coverage.  She sent the information up to her boss to make that decision.  Should it matter who was driving, as long as the vehicle has ins on it??????

in the mean time my ins company is taking care of my car, but I have to pay my 750.00 deductible. I have a rental...more details on that.  I'm being reinbused for my out of pocket medical expenses. so far it less that 50.00.  I made an appt this morning to go see my family doctor, just to check me out.  

I just don't understand why there should be any issue, as to coverage, if the vehicle has insurance on it.  Oh, I live in alabama if that matters.

I'm on my second rental car.  2 days after receiving the first one, I noticed a bubble in the tire.  I called them and the car was replaced, but now they are trying to say that I curbed it.  The rental company is doing an invesgation.  I DID NOT HIT A CURB....the tire is not scratched, the rim is not scratched, its pushed in from the bubble.  

ahhhhhhh, this is all so frustrating.  

should i expect compensation for my injury and time off from work?? I've missed a couple half a days to meet with adjuster and the whole day right after. if so how much?? I don't want them to take advantage of me and I don't want to be unreasonable. My ins company told me that if they deny coverage they will take care of anything, but will that make my premiums go up? 

Thank you for any advice!

 

19 Replies (last)

Don't sign anything and talk to a personal injury attorney today.

 

Amy-

Sorry about all your trouble.  I don't know about your state or ins coverage.  When my hubby got in a bad accident 5 years ago he lost alot of work time, had surgery and other stuff.  The others persons ins wouldn't pay anything so our ins went after them for the medical, but for lost work time we had to take them to court.  It has been five years and we are just getting to the final stages of settlement.  My advise is go talk to a accident lawyer ASAP.  Consults are usually free.  Don't go to one off t.v. Check with friends, family and co-workers for any good referrals.  Also keep in touch with your ins company.  We mad  tons of follow up calls just so it wouldn't fall through the cracks.

Good Luck

^ I agree with bagga.

And I thought that when you buy insurance, that you're insuring yourself and pricing is based on your driving history  -- and then if you get collision and comprehensive coverage - that is insurance on the car itself.

They call it 'uninsured motorist coverage' not 'uninsured car coverage'

I can drive other people's cars because I am insured. I can drive a rental car because I am insured.

When I renew my driver's license, I have to show that I have an insurance policy - not that I own a car.

(I could be confused about this - sorry)

I am a licensed insurance agent, but I am in Maryland, so I'm not sure what the laws are on uninsured motorist coverage in Alabama (even though I did grow up there!) but I will try to help you out.

1. If you are in pain, you should go to the doctor's immediately.  You may have something called PIP, or Med Pay on your policy.  That should cover most of your medical expenses, if not, well, you can't put a price on your health, right?  You also need to get written documentation from your doctor and hospital of all injuries they suspect you sustained that were directly caused by the accident.  This will help you later down the road if the insurance company wants proof of when an injury was sustained, plus it helps lawyers put a case together if it goes that far.

2. Did the driver of the vehicle have permission to drive it?  If so, the claim should be covered under the car owner's insurance.  If they did not have permission, well, then you should kindly remind the owner that the driver will be arrested and charged with grand theft auto as soon as the insurance company calls the police to verify.  If the owner is trying to skip out on the claim, this should open their eyes to the situation.  That is, if they care about the person driving and their criminal record.  They should be able to call the insurance company and clear everything up.  If the insurance company tries denying the claim because the driver was driving on a suspended license they have no grounds for that, and your insurance company will most likely sue them (subrogate) for all damages.  The only problem is if the driver was an excluded driver on the policy (I'm not sure what the laws are here, in MD a carrier can exclude drivers, but in VA it is illegal to exclude drivers, so you should check with your agent on the exclusion laws in AL.) then if your insurance company refuses to subrogate, you would have to sue the owner of the car and the driver directly, which costs quite a bit of $.

3.  You pay insurance for exactely this purpose.  It is a cusion to put your life back in order after an accident, your fault or not.  It sounds like your insurance carrier is taking pretty good care of you, which is fabulous.  If you do get stuck with the claim because the person driving wasn't driving with permission, or they were an excluded driver, it may make your rates go up slightly, but many companies have accident forgiveness, and especially for UM (Un-insured motorist) claims like this would be.  It's sort of like if you are driving and a deer comes out and plows into you.  There wasn't anything you could do, so it wasn't technically your fault, but it's not like the deer has a bank account, so your insurance company pays the claim.  It isn't as much of a rate increase like you would see if you were the one who rear-ended someone.

4. You can request that the insurance company pay you for lost wages once they decide to pay or deny the claim.  It's really up to them at that point.  You also have a choice on when and where you meet with adjustors, if something doesn't work for you, have them reschedule around a time that is better for you.

5. On the rental, I can't help you.  Just be very adamant that you didn't hit a curb and that this was a pre-existing problem.  Let them do the investigation, it should set things straight.

6. If the other car's insurance pays your claim, you won't have to pay the deductible.  If you pay the deductible, and there is a subrogation suit that your insurance company wins, you will get the deductible back. 

I hope this helps at least a little bit.  Oh, you shouldn't work out if it hurts.  Your body just went through something traumatic, and you need time to heal.  It's been a few weeks, but these types of injuries can take months to heal.  Get back into working out slowly!

Again do not sign anything and get thee to a lawyer. Nice info from the insurance agent but please remember agents do not want you to get an attorney, mostly because an agency does not want to pay the amount  an attorney can legally get for you by knowing what your and the other drivers insurance policy really means in coverage and compensation due you.

#6  
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bagga and oreo thank you for the great advice.  

I do have uninsured motorist insurance, it just sucks to have to pay that deductible, that I may not get back.  My ins did tell me that they will go after the other one if he does have ins, to recoup my deductible and their loss as well.  I just know that sooner or later one of the insurance companies might try to "settle" with me and I don't want to be screwed.  I'm not dying, just sore/hurting, stressed, and frustrated.  Have an appt today at 3 with my doctor and will keep copies of all paperwork.  Will talk to the hubby and a family friend that works for a lawyer tonight about contacting one.  It just stresses me out thinking about all hassle it might be.  Who know's i may get a call today that his ins company is going to take care of it. But, then there's still the "settlement" issue and them going to try to get out as easy as possible.  I have no idea what to expect.  Total damages to car was almost 8000.00 Trip to er, and now reg doc.  Plus now I can't work out!!! I wanted to look good in that swimsuit in a few months.

 

 

actually, in my experience, once you get a lawyer, there is not very much hassle

what hassle there is, the lawyer deals with most effectively (usually)

amy merely signing a check can be considered settling in some states.

I found once I hired an attorney I had no hassle as the hassle was dealing with the insurance companies, including mine. Don't for a second think your insurance company wants to disclose all your uninsured/under-insured motorist clauses actually cover, and you don't have to be dying to be eligible for medical payments coverage and compensation for pain and suffering.

Insurance speak is complicated, lawyers make wondrous interpreteurs.

Insurance companies are for profit entities....paying out is most frowned upon.

Ha! thus the hassle.....................................

#9  
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very good points and their talk is very confusing.  I feel like mine is being fake nice...its weird.  It may just be me thinking that, but they are really nice and it doesn't seem sincere.  I'm sure a lawyer would take care of the hassles. 

 

I was rear ended at a dead stop in April of last year.  I have three herniated cervical discs.  Running is still out of the question.  The other driver was "in good hands" and they are pretty much screwing me.  I have a good attorney, but it's taking forever.  I don't have health insurance so I can't go to the doctor anymore.  So good luck.  You're going to need it.

Original Post by bagga:

Again do not sign anything and get thee to a lawyer. Nice info from the insurance agent but please remember agents do not want you to get an attorney, mostly because an agency does not want to pay the amount  an attorney can legally get for you by knowing what your and the other drivers insurance policy really means in coverage and compensation due you.

I'm not sure if I am reading this correctly, so I'll address it from both possible points.

1. Agents are independent from insurance carriers and do not finance the cost of a lawyer.  The agent has nothing to gain from helping the client except a client being happy with good customer service.  That is what an agent is there for. 

Insurance carriers sustain the loss of $ when a laywer is hired.

Usually, if you talk to your agent, and they ask you not to hire an attorney, that is because the cost of hiring that attorney lies solely on your shoulders.  If a carrier is going to subrogate (try to recoup their losses by suing the other person's carrier), they hire an attorney and all costs are the carrier's responsibility.  This is after they have paid you for your damages.  If they win in court, you get your deductible back. 


2. Insurance is not the lottery, it is there to bring a victim to financial rightness after an accident.  It's not there for people to get sue happy and get lawyers every time they get in a scrape.  That is the reason rates go up collectively, because lawyers try for all sorts of damages that often times don't even exist.  Plus, their fee is usually about 40%.

In my experience, keeping very organized and detailed records of the accident, all damage, and all medical issues is the best defense.  If things go south with your own carrier, then hiring a lawyer is your best option.  Hiring a lawyer in the beginning and not letting the insurance company do their job is kind of negating the whole reason you pay for insurance.

 

Amy,

The best advice in that comment above was to not sign anything.  You shouldn't put more stress on yourself by assuming you are going to get screwed.  It's just going to upset you.  Remember: Just because an insurance company tries to settle with you doesn't mean you have to take the settlement.  If you keep your records in order then you should know what a fair amount for the claim should be.  If they come to you with less, refuse it, and tell them what you believe is fair.  If you have receipts, and medical outlines then you can make a very fair case.  You have more power than you think.  Going to court is extremely expensive.  That's why they attempt to settle first. 

Sorry if anyone is offended by this in any way, it's just frustrating to hear this stuff over and over again.  I would never tell my clients not to get a lawyer if it was going to pan out better for them.

I've been in accidents, I know it's frustrating.  My neighbor had a dog fence installed and it caught fire, and it blew up my shed with all sorts of equipment in it, burned part of my house, and three of my family's cars and we had to pay multiple deductibles and OUR rates went up.  It sucked, but claims do suck, at least our stuff was taken care of.  We paid the deductibles, but we got our cars and home, and shed, and lawn equipment back.

I guess I was a little offended.  I was only trying to be helpful.

 

Bullshyte and you know it ^

Had three major lawsuits not one of three different agents said "oh Kell better get an attorney it'll pan out better for you, cause your policy states you're entitled to more than you are aware of."

 Sign the wrong thing and that's all she wrote. period.

Please "insurance agent" stop spreading the myth, you work for the "company" not for the "client".

Bah 40% you are a liar.....or extremely ill infomed, and thus mute.

I sell auto insurance so im aware of what policys cover.

Did you file a police report for the incident? Insurance policy's dont carry deductibles on uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but the driver of veh #2 would have to be uninsured/underinsured (underinsured means they carry lower liability limits than you carry on your policy) It sounds as if the vehicle IS insured and even though the driver isn't the named insured, you can give ANYONE permission to drive your vehicle and they are automatically covered under your auto policy.

 

Basically the point of that speech is to say that since you were 100% not at fault, the other insurance  company HAS to pay, regardless of the driver of the other vehicle. They can take that up with their insured.

Your also right, if the insurance company of the person you were involved in teh incident with denies the claim (which would be insane.. unless its like Safe Auto.. lol) then your insurance takes care of it, however if you dont carry Uninsured or Underinsured, you will have to pull the money from your Collision insurance and that is subject to the deductible you choose at the inception of your policy. However, since you WERENT at fault and your insurance knows that, they will subrogate the claim with the other insurance company and hire an attorney themselves to defend the claim, and then recover the deductible amount as well as the rest of the monitary amount they paid to you for damages.

If you carry Medical Payment coverage, your medical bills can come out of that coverage, which carries no deductible, and allows up the limits you selected regardless of fault. If you pull from this coverage and the claim is denied and subrogated (as mentioned above) your insurance company will subrogate for this amount as well.

All and all, your insurance company HAS to defend you, and will defend you because they dont want to pay out when you werent at fault. Its cheaper for them to sue than for them to pay the claim and call it quits. So your premium will not go up as long as they subrogate.

 

100% defend your innoncence and make sure you know whats going on before you agree, if you carry correct coverage which you should because any agent would be insane to allow you to carry minimums without you being aware of the consequences, you are covered in one way or another and will be compensated.

Hope that made sense, it is 12:09am here! hah.

Well, bagga, you obviously didn't spend the extra few dollars to hire an independent agent.  Just like lawyers on retainer are better lawyers, independent agents are better agents. 

Since you have been talking about money so much and how to get the most out of a claim you can, let me break it down for you.  I make more money by giving good claim service to a client and keeping the account than I do by pissing people off with bad advice so that they move their account.

 

Oh, and I'm not making any money off of the advice I gave Amy, I was trying to help her and let her know about her coverages.  Plus, I never told Amy NOT to get a lawyer.  I merely stated that it is best to let the companies handle the claim BEFORE jumping into that.  It can be costly, and who knows?  Maybe Amy will not have the same experience as you did with your company and her claim will be covered according to her damage and injuries.

I had worded this much more offensively, as being called a liar threw me back slightly, but I thought better of it.  Let me rephrase the portion of my post that offended bagga so much that she was required to hurl such a nasty insult.  Most GOOD lawyers take 40% of an award.  They are good, and therefore charge more than someone you dial 1-800... for.

Sure.....

Sat on the other side of deposition table from several in your field....

Had I let my independent agent handle things the only side that would have been righteously serviced would have been the insurance carrier on both sides.

lawyers usually take a third and settle the case for four times more than you get from patiently waiting for agents to figure out what they're not going to pay.

Of course there are degrees of what a claim is worth....

 

I had a similar experience, and here is what I can tell you.

Your insurance should have coverage for uninsured motorists, which is what he will be if "the car's" insurance decides that driver was not covered.

Your back is HOPEFULLY not something severe or long-term, but I would get a Dr. to check it out. I ended up with similar symptoms, and my doctor said it was muscle spasms. I couldn't really work out regularly for about a month, and had trouble with twisting motions (especially if carrying something) but once it was gone it has not returned.

Your insurance should not go up, as this accident was not your fault (rear-endings are always the fault of the car/driver in the rear). You've paid your deductible, and your insurance company will try to get that back from the other driver's company. You may be out that if the other company decides he is not covered (in which case he should also get a ticket for operating a motor vehicle without liability insurace - on top of the ticket he should have gotten for driving without a license).

It wouldn't hurt to talk to a lawyer (unless he charges $120 an hour just for the initial meeting) to find out if he thinks  your case is viable. I kinda doubt a good/honest one will ... but I'm not a lawyer so I can't say.

That said - if their insurance company decides to cover him, they will probably offer you a lump sum for your injury. I would get a second opinion (your doctor, a lawyer) before cashing that check. Once the insurance on the car of the person who hit me (whose name was not on the insurance) decided that they were going to pay, they offered me a check when I asked them about my back. I didn't sign it, but went to my doctor and asked for advice on wether I should cash it or not.

I am sorry bagga, that you are so bitter as to take your experiences with other "people" in my field out on me, and my advice, which was given with the utmost respect and hope that Amy's claim is handled in a positive way to her position.  Many people have negative experiences with insurance companies, but equally as many have positive experiences, despite tragedies taking place in their lives.

I personally do not treat my clients like bank accounts, and have given advice that does not benefit the carrier in any way.  I know that some in the field do not follow the same path, but that does not mean that I am that way, nor does it mean that someone else should categorize me without knowing me in any way.

I'm sure your advice came from a good place, and that you are only trying to look out for other's best interests, as was I.  I just didn't appreciate being insulted in the process.

I honestly hope that any dealings with insurance in your future are handled much more smoothly and that you feel better about the experience than about your last one.

Amy, I likewise wish you the best.  I am so sorry that you went through such a traumatic event.  As Sarie stated, your claim should be covered by the other vehicle's policy.  I would call them again and ask what the problem is with the other driver and not hang up until they tell you.  If they say he/she was excluded from the policy, ask for written documentation of that fact and send a copy of that documentation to your company.  At the point that your company does not attempt to put you right again, and as I have stated previously, at that point, I would recommend hiring a lawyer.  If it does go that far, or you choose to hire a lawyer from the beginning, my other advice is still the best I can give.  Keep DETAILED records of everything that pertains to this claim.  Anything written will be your best friend if this does go to court, and even if you end up with a settlement.  You can prove what the insurance company owes to you if they try to settle with you based off of the records that you keep.  And bagga is right, don't sign anything. 

Advice is simply that, advice.  It is your choice, and everything I have said is merely recommendation.  I just hope that you are put financially right, and that you heal well!  Hopefully you will be able to put this behind you soon!

I don't think of you at all.

after the accident "agents" do not handle the affairs or make settlement offers.

I think an agent is not an adjuster nor are they skilled in insurance law or the other layers and policies not under their care that come into play in an accident.

That's what attorneys do, to suggest you as an agent have the insight knowledge and wherewithal to know all of these things is disingenuous.

Okay--so I went to the doctor yesterday and he said the strain is from my sciatic nerve--due to the back spasms and that sometimes it takes a couple to a few months for your body to heal. He checked my spin, again, and said it was not damaged, just my shoulders were rock hard! (stress and spasms', maybe?)  Gave me a couple Rx and told me to stretch and the soreness should go away.  Made me feel better.  

Ins--I do have the Medical Payment's coverage..talked to agent today, and I'm faxing them all of my out of pocket receipts, so they will reimburse me for those.  They told me about this in the beginning but I was upset/worried my premiums would go up if I used it so I didn't send them anything yet.  Just did!

Oreo---thank you for all your advice and explanations...I knew this topic would be sensitive to some people, thanks for putting yourself out there, and offering advice.

I'm just waiting now for the other insurance company to make their decision. As others have stated, I don't see how they can deny the claim.  I'm just worried that they will. If they do, my insurance company will subrogate and I'll get my deductible back.  I feel like I will be taken care of, at least by my insurance company.  They said that if the "other" company denies it, then they will make pymt for time off/pain..blah blah blah.  I'll just have to see what is offered and if its acceptable, no matter which side offers it.  I'm not looking to get rich, just what's fair.  I have been keeping all records, have medical reports, police report, I've been keeping notes from phone calls, and just from my own daily expericences with my back and frustrations.  

Just sucks! 

thanks to everyone for the advice.

 

 

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