Author Topic: Car accident snafu  (Read 5423 times)

lightmyfire

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Car accident snafu
« on: February 29, 2016, 01:19:52 PM »
Hello collective wisdom,

So I got sideswiped a couple weeks ago by a girl who ran a stop sign and turned left into my driver's side.  Then she tried to keep driving.  I was able to pull her over and get all her information, she was extremely apologetic and kept saying it was "all her fault." Which it obviously was.  There was not much damage to my car other than a broken headlight cover and a scrape on the side, so I took pity on her and did not call the cops.  We both have GEICO insurance, so I got her policy number and filed a report the next day.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally a few days ago I heard back that after repeated attempts by GEICO to contact her, she would not return the calls or make a statement, and lacking a police report (despite the fact that from my description of events it makes it clear she was at fault) they were dropping the case.

First of all...yes, playing the nice guy and not calling the cops was probably a dumb move.  Somehow I still trust people to do the right thing.  Secondly, I'm not necessarily concerned about the money aspect, but I feel like this girl, who is likely college age, needs to learn a bleeping lesson.  If I did something like that at her age, I would hope to be shown that it's always better to not behave like an asshole, because it will eventually catch up to you.  I have her contact info and know where she works.  How do you think I should follow up with this?

ooeei

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 01:27:20 PM »
Maybe consider this a lesson for yourself, rather than for her.  Always file a police report, even if the person is nice.  You could always stop by her office and ask her in person to please call Geico and wait while she does, but good luck with that.  Did you take pictures of the damage immediately after the accident, and with her present? 

You're not responsible for teaching her a lesson.  Not to mention, the lesson she learned is that if she acts nice and scared people will let her off the hook for things, which as you've demonstrated is sometimes true.

It'd be nice of karma were a real thing, but unfortunately sometimes people just get away with stuff.

edit:
And remember, just filing a police report doesn't mean you're pressing charges, and doesn't do any harm to anyone.  Don't feel bad about doing it.  It's purely a matter of recordkeeping.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 01:29:53 PM by ooeei »

plog

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 01:49:44 PM »
Quote
...and lacking a police report...

So fix that.  Go file a police report and call Geico back.

acroy

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 02:02:12 PM »
Go get her.
She damaged your car and tried to drive off
She is now trying to dodge responsibility
That is theft.
Thieves must be prosecuted or civilization devolves into chaos.
 good luck!

AZDude

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 02:04:27 PM »
You could probably sue her (and GEICO) for the damage. No idea how likely it is for that to work out, but serving her with a certified letter stating you plan to sue might get her to call GEICO back.

Also, *always* file a police report, for the benefit of all in society. She could have warrants. She could be uninsured. Her license could be suspended, etc...

AZDude

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2016, 02:05:42 PM »
I would also strongly suggest you do *not* show up to her home or business in some kind of threatening manner. That is a good way for bad stuff to happen. Go through the proper channels.

Mr.Bubbles

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 02:18:45 PM »
i had the same type of thing happen to me with USAA and their member, said they could not get a hold of him ect, i told them i had a picture of his drivers licence and could go to his house and have him call if they wanted, they instantly said that that wont be necessary because they will be accepting liability for him.

*To make it clear I would have never actually gone to his house

I also had taken many pictures of the accident (my truck, his car, my plates, his plates, road conditions and time of day) also neither of us had a pen so i asked to take a picture of his drivers licence and his insurance.

Worked for me by just sounding angry and serious

AZDude

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2016, 02:25:23 PM »
USAA is also well know for having great service and being good to their customers. GEICO is just a run of the mill company, so might make a difference.

bobechs

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2016, 02:49:03 PM »
USAA is also well know for having great service and being good to their customers. GEICO is just a run of the mill company, so might make a difference.


So, stiffing the other guy is great service to their customer I take you to say?

AZDude

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2016, 03:05:13 PM »
USAA is also well know for having great service and being good to their customers. GEICO is just a run of the mill company, so might make a difference.


So, stiffing the other guy is great service to their customer I take you to say?

The "other guy" refused to defend himself and thus was summarily found at fault. Like a summary judgement in a court case where one party does not show up. More than fair. USAA just made sure to resolve the issue quickly and fairly.

lightmyfire

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2016, 03:27:44 PM »
Thanks for your replies.  To be clear, I know I should have done the police report.  That's a hindsight 20/20 thing, and I will see if I can do one now.  But it does seem to me that GEICO is being a little bit unreasonable here, as some of you have pointed out.  I could see if it was a he said, she said kind of a thing and the other person claimed it was not her fault.  But she's not making any statement at all, which to me indicates fault and refusal to deal with it.  In that case, I would think (like in the USAA example) they should find her liable.

AH013

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2016, 01:10:18 PM »
So I got sideswiped a couple weeks ago by a girl who ran a stop sign and turned left into my driver's side.  Then she tried to keep driving....

That wasn't your first clue that this woman may have less than stellar ethics and morals?

File a police report.  Then file with your insurance.  Watch how quickly they bring GEICO to bear, when one party is claiming the other party at fault and the other party is hiding under the covers.

Sylly

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 11:49:12 PM »
I think if you have uninsured motorist coverage, that should kick in, no?

Seems like Geico isn't trying very hard to fight for you there...

Tjat

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2016, 06:16:46 AM »
If GEICO continues to try and stonewall, you can file a complaint with your states Department of Insurance.

MsPeacock

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2016, 05:26:53 PM »
See if you can still file a police report. If so, that would seem to solve your problem with the insurance.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2016, 07:59:18 PM »
Edit: The other driver in your specific case sounds like a flake (kept going after the accident), and even I probably would have called the police.

Another perspective on this, you could ask her directly to pay for the damages. Get a quote if you plan to replace the headlight cover and factor a fair price for the scrape. If you don't plan on fixing the damage, come up with a number that you think is reasonable. Personally based on your description, it doesn't sound like it would be over $500. Call her directly and ask her for remuneration for the damages. Tell her you don't want to get lawyers involved.

This would have been more effective if you had tried to work something out before calling Geico. Now she knows that the insurance company wasn't able to collect and is much more likely to avoid you. Handling minor accidents outside of the system has several advantages. You don't have to file a police report. The driver doesn't get cited and have to pay the associated fine. Neither of your insurance rates will go up. (Yes, some insurance companies will raise your rate even if you were the victim.) You can pocket the money if you don't intend to fix the car or are playing to DIY. Paying the cost directly is typically less expensive than the at-fault party's deductible plus the citation and increased insurance premiums.

I've been in these situations a few different times and always try to handle them outside the system. It's worked out well for me thus far, and karma has repaid me with other drivers who were equally considerate about very minor accidents where I was at-fault or the fault was questionable. The one time I was forced to handle an accident the "proper" way because bystanders called the police, I was less than pleased with the experience. The other driver was cited (likely a $165+ ticket for a minor accident), and his insurance paid $1100 to fix the panel on the passenger's side door of my beater car. (The car was barely worth that much.) I also had to spend an hour and a half in a parking lot handling the police report. Personally I would have much preferred to pocket $500 and call it a day.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 08:02:57 PM by DebtFreeBy25 »

lightmyfire

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2016, 01:37:08 PM »
Update: I filed a police report and called Geico again.  They still say they won't do anything about it if she won't make a statement, that it's "industry policy." The police won't do anything about it because it's a civil issue to be handled by insurance.  Just out of curiosity (really doubt it's worth the hassle and filing fee), what do you think my chances are in small claims court?

AZDude

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2016, 01:41:45 PM »
Did the police cite her? What is the cost to you(ie: damages minus any money received from GEICO)?

First thought is getting a judgement is probably not that hard. Collecting the money might take years. How long and hard are you prepared to fight?

lightmyfire

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2016, 01:44:56 PM »
No, the police did not cite her.  They weren't called to the scene.

AH013

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2016, 02:21:14 PM »
Time to call your insurance company now.  Say you have an uninsured motorist claim, give them the police report with her contact information and say she's a GEICO policy holder.

Maybe my own anecdotal evidence and hearing from friends, but GEICO loves to jerk people around under a guise of ignorance and/or bureaucracy, hoping they bugger off and pay things themselves without asking GEICO to pony up.  Your insurance company won't be pleased about paying out an uninsured motorist claim and will handle suing GEICO to recover their damages from their driver given an official police report alleging her fault.  GEICO will magically be able to get in touch with her thereafter when a demand letter is sent.

lightmyfire

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2016, 03:35:55 PM »
We are both GEICO policy holders. :(

dogboyslim

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2016, 08:01:14 PM »
a few options.  I'm assuming that you are in a tort state not a no fault state and that you have Collision coverage on your vehicle.
 
Option 1.  File a complaint with the insurance department.  Provide them with all notes from your communications to date.  Call Geico again and ask that they put their decision in writing. (They won't) then get the name of the person you are speaking to and document the time of day.  I work in insurance. They are correct that it is a standard action, but it is standard because it lets them hold their investment longer and earn a greater return not because it is proper.  The better companies do NOT do this. 

Option 2.  Sue her in small claims court.  Geico will get pulled into it under their duty to defend.  Name Geico in the suit if you can, but most likely you can't.

Option 3.  File a Collision claim with Geico.  You will be out your deductible and you will need to fight to keep the claim from being a chargeable claim.  This may lead right back to the insurance department claim.

Option 4. Hire a lawyer if you can find one to take such a small $ case.

Lastly, switch carriers.  Geico is cheap. Now you know how they do it.

Good luck.

fishnfool

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2016, 08:19:18 PM »
GEICO sucks...nuf said!

seemsright

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2016, 09:07:46 PM »
This is a case that you get what you pay for.

My insurance guy is awesome. One email and he takes care of shit for me.

He will call the person I backed into to find out the cost of their bumper and will tell me if it is smarter to write him a check or go through insurance.
This same guy will call the guy who rear ended me and get me a check.

I can call him any time of day and he responds quickly. Oh and being 19 when I was married. He wrote down I was a married female under the age of 50 instead of a married female under 25 both were true but the first one saved us about $20 a month.

Dicey

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Re: Car accident snafu
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2016, 09:32:19 PM »
Since you have her contact information, why not send her a polite letter? Briefly outline the situation and say that she is leaving you little choice but to seek other legal avenues to repair the damage. Give her a specific time limit to contact the insurance before you file a claim in court. Mention that the more she avoids this, the more it is ultimately going to cost her. You don't have to say Small Claims Court, but that's where I'd guess you'd have the best result.

Oh, and to the person upthread who mentioned taking a picture of the other party's Driver's License? I had someone do damage to a neighbor's property when I was holding an estate sale at the home of a friend. She gave me her phone number and I took a picture of her license, both of which turned out to be fake. Did I mention the vehicle she parked so badly was an Escalade? Fortunately, DH can fix anything, so he fixed the broken light and the smushed plants recovered by the time my friend's neighbors returned from their vacation. Trust but verify indeed.