Author Topic: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??  (Read 1204 times)

hope2retire

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Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« on: December 28, 2019, 08:50:07 PM »
Hi All,
My car got hit by a ~60 yr old guy (fully his fault), as I had the right of way on a high way and he was taking left turn on to a perpendicular road at the intersection coming from the opposite side. We pulled over to the side of the perpendicular street, i called 911 and reported it.
The old guy was reasonable at the scene of the accident( i could smell alcohol and he was drinking lots of water before the cops came , ~35-40 mins after accident , but i cannot confirm).
The old guy accepted his fault, very apologetic, he gave his Insurance card (Valid from sep 19 to Mar 2020 with progressive) and registration for me to take picture and he asked my insurance also. He said just a standard exchange of information type of thing. I had my insurance card which had a expired date  (till July 2019, old card ), but the insurance was active in itself. I downloaded it on my phone and showed it to the cop. The cop was ok with it and asked me to take a copy for the car.
The cop wrote the police report number on my card and said I do not have to worry about it as I had the right of way and insurance will decide the rest.

Not sure what the cop spoke or ticketed or did with the old guy, we all left the scene after filing the report.
Came home, called his insurance company( Progressive) in the evening and filed a claim-  was told someone will contact me in 24hrs. My Car is damaged in the front end, still drivable but I am not comfortable driving it. This morning I was contacted by progressive and was informed the old guy’s policy was cancelled in November.
In the mean time I went to the body shop and got a quote, they gave a quote of $3k with visual inspection and not deep dive after taking things apart. I called the old guy many times and he was again and again very apologetic and said he is working with the insurance company. I texted him that his insurance agent is trying to reach out to him to see if he has any other policy with them. Anyway, got to know that he indeed does not have insurance on that day of accident.
I told him the quote is 3k without the opening the damage and it could me more after that inspection. He said he can pay $1500 tomorrow by check and he has to take money from retirement account to pay more. Not really sure how much I can believe. Initially I felt bad for him when he said this. I was also in my mind considering getting the $1500 and get the remaingin when it is fixed.

On the back , he went ahead and filed a claim on my insurance for his car, which I got to know by email from my insurance company . When I confronted him why he filed a claim on my insurance when he accepted his fault?, he said “it is a no-fault state” and “ to be honest  I have to protect my interest” and  “ I gave an insurance card that was expired” and he did not know. He also said “the claim will be denied”. Even at this point he said he will pay, but would like me to get another quote from someone else also “in good faith”. NOT SURE SHOULD I BELIEVE HIM ANYMORE.

 I said I do not know anyone else, he said he will get someone’s number tomorrow for it. At the end of the call he said he will call me tomorrow with a number.
From my side after this call, I called to my insurance (on the claim the old guy submitted) and they asked me to go through claiming  not-at-fault collision/comprehensive coverage and I pay the deductible while they go through subrogation process with Progressive or the old guy.

So much for me being honest and worried that he might get into lot more trouble and reached out first to the old guy when his insurance agent told me he did not have coverage.  I was worried he might get into lot more trouble  with the cop if I file a claim on my insurance or I call the cops to change the report to have that he did not have insurance in NJ.

What are my options at this point? Is this the right thing to do. Also I learnt I can apply for “Diminished Value Claim”, which I missed in my previous not-at-fault accident a year ago. Can I still file for it? All my insurance are with the lizard and the at-fault guy this time does not have insurance and the previous lady who was at fault also had the lizard insurance.

I know it is a long post and may be confusing to follow the conversations I had, but any general help on how to go about with dealing with an uninsured motorist would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
H2R

« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 12:33:26 PM by hope2retire »

six-car-habit

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Re: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2019, 09:53:50 PM »
 As far as worrying about whether he gets into more trouble for drving without insurance .... - bleep that bleep !

Did a police officer respond to the accident scene ?   Why would you need to change the report  /  Had you told the police he Did have insurance, when you knew he didn't ?  If you were honest about the police report and your description to your insurance agency , there should be no problem, for you.

  The police report helps figure out whom is to blame. Whether he had insurance or not , does not change who is at fault in the accident.  The right + proper thing is for him to get a ticket for driving without coverage.

 On your 'diminshed value ' claim - that may depend on the severtiy of your last crash.  If they already fixed thousands of $$ in damage last year, i would not expect to get any benefit from that. If your car was pristine, and this was it's first wreck, than maybe.

 Reason I responded to this query - Many Years ago, I got rear-ended at a stopsign. Got out of car, surveyed damage, talked with driver, got his license plate # , and drivers license info. He seemd a bit off , as if maybe buzzed / impaired.  Told him i was going to drive around the corner [ literally] to a fire station to call the accident in [ this is before nearly everyone had a cellphone] . He agreed to wait. When i came out of the fire station , he was gone. Policeman showed up, interviewed me, wrote up a report. I talked with the cop later, he went out to the guys house, and found him 'hiding out' there. Gave him 2 tickets -  for no insurance + leaving the scene of an accident. My insurance paid for replacement car since mine needed to go into shop for body damage. They tried to give me a no-frills, subcompact car. I explained my car had leather - power everything - etc.  I ended up in a nice Cadillac for a few days.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2019, 09:59:59 PM »
Your post is very confusing. What was the sequence of events and who was there for each? Who is the "previous lady who was at fault"?

Don't worry about what happens to others. It's their problem.

former player

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Re: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2019, 02:16:32 AM »
So, you've had two collisions this year, neither of which was your fault.

The first accident was caused by a woman.  You filed a claim which presumably was paid but didn't include a Diminished Value Claim.  Whether you can claim that now depends on the terms of the settlement you got.  Usually if money was paid over to you by an insurance company they would have put a clause in saying "full and final settlement" or some such wording which means that by accepting the money you are agreeing not to put in any further claims on that accident.  So you would need to check the words of any documents sent to you by the insurance company to see whether they included those words, and also the terms of the policy on which you claimed.  If you have an insurance agent it is worth asking them to do that for you.

On the second accident it seems that the police were called and issued a report, yes?  Which says that the other guy was at fault?  You need to -

1) Immediately file a claim with your insurance.  Include as much detail as you can, and as much evidence as you can.  Include a copy of the police report and photographs of the damage to your car. You will quite likely find that he has lied to your insurance company and you will need to get your side of the story in as fully and accurately as possible as soon as possible to counteract his lies.

2)  Report the man to the police for driving without insurance.  He is a proven liar and a proven danger to other road users, and the proper people to deal with that are the police.

You need to forget completely about being considerate of this other man.  He doesn't deserve it, and you will come out the loser if you don't fight back hard and fast. Good luck.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2019, 04:14:36 AM »
Report the other driver and if you have his details report it to his employer as well. Punish him.

norajean

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Re: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2019, 06:34:13 AM »
You might want to look into a Defensive Driving course for yourself before you or someone else gets injured or worse.

hope2retire

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Re: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2019, 10:10:34 AM »
Thanks Six-car-habit, Paul der krake, former player, bloop bloop, nora jean for the reply.

@six-car-habit
Yes, I should stop worrying about his issues.
Yes Police reported to the scene and wrote the report. The old guy gave an insurance card which says it is valid from Sep19 to Mar 2020, which the cops believed and did not write it off as ticket. They did not validate it against Progressive insurance company. I came to know that his insurance is cancelled in Nov after I file a claim to his insurance company.
He went behind my back and filed a claim on my insurance for his car, which I was very furious (as he agreed it was his fault coming into my lane taking a left on the intersection). The copy of my insurance I gave him was a old card although my insurance is active all the time.
Yeah they paid 6k to fix the car last time in the first accident.

As of now, I had reported everything to my insurance and had a call with his insurance as well, who clearly said “he was not covered”. So my insurance guys have already put me on appointment to fix it and they will go behind him, but I still owe the deductible. Which will be paid back once the insurance gets the money from him.

@Paul
1.5 yrs ago, a lady rear ended me at a signal moving from rest ( red to green ) when taking a left. She did not stay in her lane
Yesterday, I was heading north and the old guy was taking a left from the opposite traffic. He was at rest, just accelerated to cut the oncoming traffic (which I was on) and hit me on the front.

Yeah, I put a long post and deleted it thought it would confuse the readers with the series of events. Not a good story teller. :(

@former player,
Yes, 1.5 yrs back rear ended and  yesterday I was front ended.
Yes spot on, I did not know about Diminished value claim that time, so did not ask. They just fixed my car at their preferred body shop. I did not get any money per say. I will check those documents and update here.

Yes, police was called to the spot. Yes the cop did not cite me and said not to worry as “I had the right of way”. a copy of the report will be available in 5days. Yes, I have called and clearly told the sequence of events. Luckily, the at-fault driver’s insurance agent called when I was on phone with my insurance agent, so I put them on conference. The progressive insurance agent confirmed that the at-fault driver did not have insurance. Thank you, I need to be inconsiderate in such matters keeping who else will be affected. I saw the punishment for not carrying insurance is 300-1000 fine, plus suspension of license for a year for first offense. It is much worse for second offense with jail time. So scary.

@thanks Bloop. Now I don’t think I have to do it. He shot himself in his foot by reporting it to my insurance. I am sure my insurance will report this or threaten him based on this. Also, he said he got his new insurance in the same lizard company he reported this accident to. I will check with my insurance and how they will proceed.

@norajean. Thanks, I will check into this as well when all the dust settles. I just wonder sometimes, am I that unlucky or there are bad drivers and bad people all around. I had my parked car hit twice with body damage in two separate incidents in two different states in two different cars.  No camera’s around, no insurance or contact info left.
Twice in accident in the past 1.5 yrs, where some one just did not keep their lane or just thought they decided to cut first and decided against it after realizing their goofup.

Even if I park my car to far far away in a parking lot and walk 3 mins in shit cold to the store, I come back to see parking dings by people opening and closing doors. Once I was sitting inside the car just waiting for someone, when someone just slammed the door open in their car and just say ‘Sorry” and leave while I have a visible ding. 

« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 10:22:09 AM by hope2retire »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2019, 10:50:16 AM »
Okay, reading what you sent me by PM this makes more sense, you may want to put the full story back in your original post. It's good that your have a police report. What's happening is that you're dealing with an idiot who:
1) doesn't have insurance (red flag number one)
2) doesn't understand that no-fault is only for injuries, not property damages, and decides to "protect his interests"

Do not speak with the idiot any further. If he contacts you, do not answer. This is why you pay your insurance company. They have a well-oiled process for dealing with idiots and will start by denying his claim and then go after him on your behalf. It might take a while, so don't count on seeing that money any time soon. The wheels of justice grind slowly.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Accident by Uninsured Motorist - What are my options??
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2019, 04:41:22 PM »
If you have underinsured motorist coverage, this would be the time to use it. Your insurance company should pay you for your loss (minus any deductible), and would determine for themselves whether trying to get their money back from the old guy is worth the effort.

If you don't have this coverage, you'll need to work it out with the old guy on your own, using lawyers and/or small claims court if you feel that would improve your odds of recovering your cash.