Author Topic: VERY scared  (Read 16441 times)

Jacob1234098

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VERY scared
« on: June 21, 2014, 10:45:35 AM »
About six months ago, I was in a car wreck with another party. The whole thing is a blur to me. I have only ever been in one car crash, and it was with a sweet old lady who helped me through it. This time an old man hit me from behind, we pulled over to the nearest parking lot, he and his 40 year old daughter got out to reprimand me (as if it was my fault). I was really nervous, and they did a very good job of making me feel bad about it. The first thing I asked when I got out of the car was if everyone was alright. Both said yes, and proceeded to walk around checking damages, gathering my paperwork (they refused to show theirs), and acting very hostile towards me. And then they were gone. I got a call two weeks later from my insurance company saying the old man was claiming injuries. Bare in mind, this wreck occurred at less than a 5mph differential between the cars. So, I was surprised. I couldn't do anything, so I let it sort itself out (or so I thought). I got a call six months later. I thought the case was closed at this point. My insurance company (Allstate) said they were researching the case. Apparently, the man had racked up over $100,000 in medical claims at this point. My insurance only covers $100,000, so I am liable above and beyond this point. I am terrified, and feel I have been hustled.

I really shot myself in the foot a few days after the wreck, because in my ignorance, their insurance called me up and I answered everything still feeling a sense of guilt for no reason. I can't explain why I expressed any guilt at all, except for the fact that I was still feeling bad about being scolded by this man.

My insurance company is currently fighting the case, and I think they mentioned something about getting a lawyer. I have a witness who has never testified who was in the passenger seat, who is much more sure of herself and knows exactly what happened.

I've limited this post because I'm not sure of what I can say on an internet forum, but I am really scared. I have saved $170,000 over 4 years preparing for early retirement (blood, sweat, and tears), and now I feel it may be taken away by a fender bender with a dishonest man. I guess I'm asking what usually happens in these cases? How good are insurance companies at protecting themselves (and me) in these cases?

phred

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 11:00:14 AM »
Insurance companies will definitely fight this, especially if they can show damage to your rear and their front.  Excellent you have a witness.  Be sure to bring up that they wouldn't show their D/L, proof of insurance.
  5 mph and $100,000 injuries?  I've heard some people purposely create accidents so they can collect insurance monies.
  If you get a lawyer, the lawyer can make them provide the paperwork - contact your insurance company - probably in person- to see if you should obtain the services of an attorney.  Then you can counter-sue for emotional stress, time wasted, etc

HairyUpperLip

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2014, 11:04:11 AM »
why didn't you call the cops?

normally it's the person doing the rear endings fault.

I wish you luck man. sucks there is so many bad people
out there.

randymarsh

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2014, 11:11:48 AM »
If you were rear-ended it's almost certainly their fault. What did the police say?

You may want to talk to a lawyer just to get a better understanding of what the possible outcomes are. Many will give a free or cheap consultation.

How much of that 170K is in 401ks and IRAs? As far as I know, 401Ks are completely off limits and IRAs are protected up to 1 million.

Fatmouse

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2014, 11:13:42 AM »
I was sued for a car accident.  My case was actually a bit worse, because I got a ticket for the collision, which was more than a fender bender.  A few years after the fact, the other driver claimed she had chronic back issues caused by the accident, though she had not sought treatment at the time of the accident.

My insurance company (almost completely without my involvement or input) fought the case.  The eventual settlement was quite modest.  I had to give a deposition where I discussed the accident, but otherwise I was not involved.

It took a long time, maybe 2 years, from when I got served papers that I was being sued, for the case to go away.  (Keep in mind, I got sued four years after the actual collision.)  An attorney hired by the insurance company was my point of contact, and he was very good and very reassuring.  In your case, it sounds like you have not actually been sued, which is good.  (You would know, you'd receive official papers from a court.). This guy might not even be able to find a lawyer willing to take his case, as it sounds frivolous.

Hope that helps.  Happy to answer more questions, also via pm if you're uncomfortable asking on the forum.

AssetGrinder

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2014, 11:16:24 AM »
Sounds like you need a lawyer asap. When dealing with any insurance company claim I use a lawyer. The cost of a lawyer often pays for itself in more favorable claims. A lawyer will fight for you when you dont have the know how to push back. Also the piece of mind puts you at ease which is often worth it. The stress of a claim often paralyze people. Best of luck, dont worry too much and everything will be sorted out.

Fatmouse

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2014, 11:32:52 AM »
Sounds like you need a lawyer asap. When dealing with any insurance company claim I use a lawyer. The cost of a lawyer often pays for itself in more favorable claims. A lawyer will fight for you when you dont have the know how to push back. Also the piece of mind puts you at ease which is often worth it. The stress of a claim often paralyze people. Best of luck, dont worry too much and everything will be sorted out.

In my humble opinion, this really depends on what the poster's insurance company is telling him.  It sounds like the poster's insurance company is on his side.  They are fighting the claim, they are getting a lawyer to fight the claim, etc.

Good insurance companies hire great lawyers.  The poster and his insurance company have the same interest (fighting the claim.). If the poster is satisfied with how Allstate is handling the matter, I don't necessarily think he needs to lawyer right now.

If Allstate seems threatening, like they are going to drop poster's coverage or try to argue the insurance policy will not cover the costs of defending against this claim (very unlikely), this is when poster needs his own attorney for sure.

former player

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2014, 12:08:23 PM »
1.  Don't feel guilty.  Don't talk to the claimant or the claimant's insurance company.

2.  Talk to your insurance company's claims manager or lawyer.  If part of the argument against you is that you expressed guilt, you need to put your case to your insurance company: you were very shaken up by the crash (I expect that as you were hit from behind you were doing nothing wrong and had no warning of what was to come, so it was a shock out of the blue, and your immediate reaction was confusion as to how it could possibly have happened when you were doing nothing wrong).  For the rest, make sure they have your story straight (very low speed impact, you were rear-ended while doing nothing wrong, the other driver was wholly at fault, the other driver was bullying and abusive towards you, that you are not used to being treated in that way and understand now that this was probably a tactic to try to move the blame for the accident away from him).

3.  I hope your insurance company already has contact details of your witness.  If not, they need them ASAP.  Don't say anything about it to your witness: you shouldn't give the claimant any chance of arguing collusion between you and your witness.

4.  Ask your insurance company for any documentation relating to the claim against you, so that you can see precisely what is happening.  You need to see what their defence is, and what actions they have taken so far.  Once you have done that, if you have any concerns not answered by your insurance company's claims manager or lawyer, I would suggest you ask for a short appointment with a personal injury defence lawyer so that they can review the papers for you.  You should be able to get a short initial appointment for a reasonable and fixed price, or even free (if they think they might get an instruction out of it).  You should need less than an hour, which you should be able to get for a fixed sum with no further obligation.

5.  In case this situation arises again, write yourself a list of things to do in case of an accident on the back of a postcard, and keep it in the glovebox of your car.  You can't be expected to remember everything when you are shaken up, so having a ready-made list available (along the lines of 1 don't admit liability 2 get other car number, drivers details,, witness details, 3 call police if there is anything at all suspicious or there is personal injury, 4 take photos, 5 note location on map, etc) will help a lot.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 12:46:50 PM by former player »

Daleth

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2014, 12:26:41 PM »
Sounds like you need a lawyer asap. When dealing with any insurance company claim I use a lawyer. The cost of a lawyer often pays for itself in more favorable claims. A lawyer will fight for you when you dont have the know how to push back. Also the piece of mind puts you at ease which is often worth it. The stress of a claim often paralyze people. Best of luck, dont worry too much and everything will be sorted out.

In my humble opinion, this really depends on what the poster's insurance company is telling him.  It sounds like the poster's insurance company is on his side.  They are fighting the claim, they are getting a lawyer to fight the claim, etc.

Good insurance companies hire great lawyers.  The poster and his insurance company have the same interest (fighting the claim.). If the poster is satisfied with how Allstate is handling the matter, I don't necessarily think he needs to lawyer right now.

If Allstate seems threatening, like they are going to drop poster's coverage or try to argue the insurance policy will not cover the costs of defending against this claim (very unlikely), this is when poster needs his own attorney for sure.

Yep. This is one of the things car insurance is for--having your insurer foot the bill for the lawyer. The insurer doesn't want to pay any more than you do. Make sure to repeatedly highlight that THEY HIT YOU FROM BEHIND. That makes it almost certainly their fault. To prove this you have:
- Your word
- Details re: damage to the cars (your rear, their front)--make sure you highlight this to your insurer
- Your witness (make sure your insurer has her name and contact info).
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 12:28:14 PM by Daleth »

rmendpara

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2014, 12:56:12 PM »
I feel bad for people who are nice to the point of it being a fault.

Don't get walked all over.

I'd be sure to get a lawyer, if for nothing else than because they will be able to help you navigate through this and make sure you know your rights throughout the process. Obviously, the other driver is just looking for a payout, the question is whether they have a real claim or not... assuming they rear-ended you, it will be tough for them to prove you were at fault. Again, I don' tknow the details of the accident, but typically getting rear-ended is the person-in-behind's fault, even if you slammed your brakes for absolutely no reason (which I don't think was the case... but my point still stands).

Get a lawyer, because these issues are complicated.

Daleth

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2014, 01:44:35 PM »
I feel bad for people who are nice to the point of it being a fault.

Don't get walked all over.

I'd be sure to get a lawyer, if for nothing else than because they will be able to help you navigate through this and make sure you know your rights throughout the process. Obviously, the other driver is just looking for a payout, the question is whether they have a real claim or not... assuming they rear-ended you, it will be tough for them to prove you were at fault. Again, I don' tknow the details of the accident, but typically getting rear-ended is the person-in-behind's fault, even if you slammed your brakes for absolutely no reason (which I don't think was the case... but my point still stands).

Get a lawyer, because these issues are complicated.

The insurance company hires a lawyer for you. And it sounds like they have done so or are doing so in this case.

Bookworm

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2014, 10:05:31 PM »
We are involved in the claim/settlement process right now because my husband was rear-ended in March, and it left him with some neck and back issues. One of the first things our attorney did was look at the pictures to determine that the damage was consistent with an accident that could cause injury. He told us that the insurance companies/judge will look at the vehicles and if there is less than $1,000 damage, they will automatically not believe anyone claiming to be injured (our vehicle was a total loss).

I don't want to give you false assurances, but I really think you'll be okay. $100,000 in medical expenses for a <5 mph speed differential? And HE rear ended YOU!

CarDude

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2014, 12:01:16 AM »
Yeah, don't sweat this. Let your insurance company go to bat for you.

Daleth

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2014, 07:50:07 AM »
Also, since they rear-ended you, you should remind your insurance company that your car was damaged too--in other words give them a counterclaim to bring against those morons. THEY should be reimbursing YOU.

boarder42

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2014, 11:31:25 AM »
I'm sure an intelligent insurance company is fighting to not pay 100k. So that will protect you as well as everyone has pointed out here rear endings are 95% the person rear endings fault.

Not exactly the same story but I was on my honeymoon in october and I get a phone call from my insurance company stating someone claimed I hit their car back in June. (Yeah 4 months earlier). And someone left a "note" on their car with my license plate number. Their car damage had been repaired and couldn't be inspected. So my insurance sent someone to inspect my car. End of story my insurance company defended me your insurance is your ally in situations like this call then and have them understand the situation.  Who waits 4 months and fixes their car before filing a claim.

LowER

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2014, 06:19:34 PM »
I wouldn't brush this off.  I would treat it like your hair's on fire until it's done, done, done.  If what you are saying is even close to the truth, those scoundrels will get what's coming to them, and that's not another $100,000 worth of oxycodone. 

Josiecat

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2014, 06:49:44 PM »
Why would YOUR insurance have to pay for his injuries?  HIS insurance should be paying for HIS injuries.  HE HIT YOU FROM BEHIND!!!  He is 100% at fault.

You need to be questioning your insurance company and make them fight for you.  This is unacceptable.  You should be suing HIM.

Get mad!!  Pull yourself together and fight! Don't let anyone mess with your stash.  He's out to get money from someone.  Get a lawyer if he pulls any crap and sue HIM. 

lpep

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2014, 04:14:20 AM »
Everyone's takeaway from this should be: if you're in a car wreck, especially if it's not your fault ALWAYS CALL THE COPS. They just take statements, they're not arresting anybody. Then their notes provide a disinterested, authoritative statement for the insurance companies.

If there is any damage, assume it's going to cost thousands of dollars, because car repairs are really, really expensive. Do you want to rely on the other party's humanity over thousands of dollars? Of course not, you're a mustachian. Call the cops or it becomes your word versus theirs - which means a headache for you.


OP, for what it's worth - I've been in two wrecks that were not my fault. The first time I got rear-ended, not much damage caused, decided to let it go... the person who rear-ended me ended up calling their insurance and I got a check for $1300. So fortune smiled on me, but your situation could easily have happened to me - lesson learned. The second time, my car was nearly totaled (rear-ended in a parking lot as I was parking, so it was messier). The guy was on his phone. I called the cops, went through insurance company phone calls, and nearly $11000 was paid out by the other guy's insurance company for fixing my car (a 2008 Ford Focus), paying a rental car for me for a month and a half... anyway. Cops. Always cops.

Dibbels81

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2014, 06:56:20 AM »
No specific advice, but I believe that you will be fine.  No way a jury would award this guy any money--he rear-ended you, plus you have a witness.  Your insurance company also will be fighting for you (they don't want to play this loser, either).  I'm pretty sure alluding to guilt over the phone will mean nothing if this case comes to court, and I bet two nickels that it won't even go that far.  He's milking the system for as much as he can, probably taking care of some pre-existing medical problems, claiming them as a residual effect from the accident.  Instead of feeling scared, I would suggest you turn your fear into anger and start hitting back at this creep.

Villanelle

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2014, 07:40:29 AM »
I was in a car accidnt about 20 years ago.  it was entirely my fault.  I was driving a car borrowed from my parents and in retrospect what I think happened was that I hit the clutch instead of the brakes.  At the time, all I knew is thatI hit the brake,s nothing happened, and by the time that processed, I hit the car in front of me.

The other driver was someone I knew and was actually casual friends with.  I'd been following her.  She was fine.  We were out of town togther and exchanged several phone calls as I made sure she had a place to stay, and a way home.  (We'd been traveling with a large group.) All was fine.  She left me a not the mornign we both left, syaing she was fine, thanking me for helping her, etc.

About 8 hours later, she was on the phoen with me claiming she couldn't feel her arm, blah blah.  It was so very clearly a scam. 

Basically, she went to various doctors claiming various injuries until one of them claimed to see something wrong.

My insurance handled it all.  The hired the lawers and did everything.  I had to go meet with a lawyer to give my side, and then there was a phone call roughly two years after the accident.  I believe it was with a mediator.  Her lawyer asked me some questions, as did the insurance company's lawyer.

In the end, they paid everything.  I was stressed, but my insurance company took care of it.   I later learned that after paying her ambulance chaser lawyer for all his work, she walked away with less money than the initial offer from my insurance company, a fact from which I took far too much satisfaction.

Cpa Cat

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2014, 08:07:53 AM »
I think that you should call your insurance contact and explain your concerns. Re-iterate that the accident was their fault, that they bullied you and preyed on your inexperience. Then ask them to provide you any written communication between the insurance companies/lawyers so that you can verify the accuracy of what they claim you've said.

For instance, if their insurance company is saying that you admitted fault, then challenge it. Tell your insurance company that you did not admit fault, that you had no way of knowing who was at fault due to inexperience, and that they should ask for a recording of the phone call. Because unless you said, "I threw my car in reverse and backed into them," then you didn't admit fault.

Also - as someone else mentioned - Absolutely make sure that they know you had a passenger in the car and that she is willing to provide a statement.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 08:16:09 AM by Cpa Cat »

TrulyStashin

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2014, 09:52:47 AM »
I'm a lawyer.  As an FYI, the lawyer hired by Allstate represents Allstate, not you.

Right now, Allstate's interests and your interests are aligned so you might be ok for now.  But pay attention... the minute Allstate starts talking about settling the claim, you need to hire your own attorney to protect YOUR interests and insure that any settlement agreement also includes a waiver of any claim against YOU as an individual.

Also, if you have any issues with the lawyer hired by Allstate (not calling you back or not answering your questions, for example) then hire your own lawyer.  Allstate's lawyer has an ethical duty is to Allstate, not to you, and if Allstate decides to settle the claim and throw you under the  bus then Allstate's lawyer has no duty to tell you that.   S/he also has no duty to call you back or keep you in the loop, so the minute you feel neglected by that lawyer it's time to get your own.

Last sentence edited for clarity.



« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 09:56:26 AM by TrulyStashin »

HairyUpperLip

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2014, 10:02:57 AM »
I'm a lawyer.  As an FYI, the lawyer hired by Allstate represents Allstate, not you.

Right now, Allstate's interests and your interests are aligned so you might be ok for now.  But pay attention... the minute Allstate starts talking about settling the claim, you need to hire your own attorney to protect YOUR interests and insure that any settlement agreement also includes a waiver of any claim against YOU as an individual.

Also, if you have any issues with the lawyer hired by Allstate (not calling you back or not answering your questions, for example) then hire your own lawyer.  Allstate's lawyer has an ethical duty is to Allstate, not to you, and if Allstate decides to settle the claim and throw you under the  bus then Allstate's lawyer has no duty to tell you that.   S/he also has no duty to call you back or keep you in the loop, so the minute you feel neglected by that lawyer it's time to get your own.

Last sentence edited for clarity.

I like this forum because people with actual knowledge provide information. Thanks for contributing even though this isn't my thread or problem.


mpg350

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2014, 10:05:16 AM »
I work in the insurance field and the attorney represents Allstate and also you.

I see this all the time a $500 car accident and huge medical bills and 99% of the time it was for some prior issue
that the attorney and client are trying to relate to your minor car accident. 

If your insurance company reaches a settlement with the other driver and attorney they will use a release that will protect you.

Did your insurance company get estimates on the other vehicle?  What state are you located?

I don't know how well Allstate is at trial but my company is like 80% successful at trial for these
Minor impact accidents.     
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 10:09:51 AM by mpg350 »

Jacob1234098

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2014, 03:06:25 PM »
Just a quick update while I'm at work:

I talked with my insurance company today. Two people have been working on the case which has been reopened. Right now, it's possible it will be deemed that Allstate doesn't think I'm responsible. If I am deemed responsible, the person processing medical will be reviewing all history of this claimant (past claims, pre-existing conditions, etc) to see if the injuries claimed are due to this accident. There's also the possibility that it is 50/50. If the other party is deemed >50% liable (51+), I am responsible for none of the driver's injuries (but still the passenger). At 50%, I have to pay half his medical. <50%, I pay all I believe. The man driving has claimed $80,000 in medical for a shoulder surgery. The woman in the car made medical claims, but I'm not sure what for.

I tried to explain that someone claiming these medical damages at a 5mph differential is very suspicious. If they were distracted as my witness says (and thus at fault), then they probably didn't brace for impact resulting in the injuries. If they were paying attention, they had plenty of time to brace for impact, and injury of any sort is extremely unlikely. I felt I was just talking to myself though.

They may deem the accident not my fault. Or, that it is my fault and there is a valid medical claim. In this case, I believe their lawyer can take it to court, in which case I need a lawyer.  In both cases, with Allstate I have the capability to obtain a lawyer (working for me, not my insurance) free of charge. So, I can fight it without worrying about cost.

Talking to the two Allstate workers, the one trying to establish responsibility listened and took my witness's name and number, but the other person told me it's a biased witness and didn't want to hear about it. So, I'm not sure how much any of my talking helped.

It sounds like at this point, I need to:
A.) Wait until I hear back about who they have decided is at fault.
B.) Wait until they decide if the medical claims make sense for this accident.
C.) Take the services of the Allstate-employed lawyer if A & B apply.
D.) Cross my fingers really hard...

Icecreamarsenal

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2014, 03:15:02 PM »
Ugh this sucks. I feel for you. That being said, keep in touch with your insurance company. Shame about you talking to his insurance company though. Did you say anything incriminating?


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CommonCents

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2014, 03:21:54 PM »
I tried to explain that someone claiming these medical damages at a 5mph differential is very suspicious. If they were distracted as my witness says (and thus at fault), then they probably didn't brace for impact resulting in the injuries. If they were paying attention, they had plenty of time to brace for impact, and injury of any sort is extremely unlikely. I felt I was just talking to myself though.

Just a quick note here - I've heard that the reason drunks walk away from accidents and others don't is because they DON'T brace for impact (tightening up muscles etc).  Not sure if that's true or not, but I just wanted to say that bracing for an impact may not necessarily avoid issues and maybe could cause some more. 

I'd be VERY careful about talking to his insurance company, even to "establish responsibility".  And don't just rely on things like your/his witness, do what you can to dig up as much support as you can.  For example, did you get the car repaired?  Go talk to the shop (or give the name to your insurance company).

okashira

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2014, 04:23:01 PM »
Just a quick update while I'm at work:

I talked with my insurance company today. Two people have been working on the case which has been reopened. Right now, it's possible it will be deemed that Allstate doesn't think I'm responsible. If I am deemed responsible, the person processing medical will be reviewing all history of this claimant (past claims, pre-existing conditions, etc) to see if the injuries claimed are due to this accident. There's also the possibility that it is 50/50. If the other party is deemed >50% liable (51+), I am responsible for none of the driver's injuries (but still the passenger). At 50%, I have to pay half his medical. <50%, I pay all I believe. The man driving has claimed $80,000 in medical for a shoulder surgery. The woman in the car made medical claims, but I'm not sure what for.

I tried to explain that someone claiming these medical damages at a 5mph differential is very suspicious. If they were distracted as my witness says (and thus at fault), then they probably didn't brace for impact resulting in the injuries. If they were paying attention, they had plenty of time to brace for impact, and injury of any sort is extremely unlikely. I felt I was just talking to myself though.

They may deem the accident not my fault. Or, that it is my fault and there is a valid medical claim. In this case, I believe their lawyer can take it to court, in which case I need a lawyer.  In both cases, with Allstate I have the capability to obtain a lawyer (working for me, not my insurance) free of charge. So, I can fight it without worrying about cost.

Talking to the two Allstate workers, the one trying to establish responsibility listened and took my witness's name and number, but the other person told me it's a biased witness and didn't want to hear about it. So, I'm not sure how much any of my talking helped.

It sounds like at this point, I need to:
A.) Wait until I hear back about who they have decided is at fault.
B.) Wait until they decide if the medical claims make sense for this accident.
C.) Take the services of the Allstate-employed lawyer if A & B apply.
D.) Cross my fingers really hard...

I recommend that you hire your own lawyer immediately. No offense, but you do not sound personally equipped to handle this.
Stop giving statements to the other insurance company. Do not answer the phone. Get a lawyer to handle them for you.

Left

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2014, 06:02:35 PM »
I didn't see it pointed out, but if he drove off without giving you his info, isn't that a hit and run? I don't know if this throws a wrench into anything though just pointing it out

DeepEllumStache

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2014, 07:11:07 PM »
Also - if you can safely take pictures of the accident scene, consider offering to get pictures for your insurance company.  Get them from all angles with a cell phone camera.  Also offer to draw a diagram of the accident.

Sylly

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2014, 08:08:10 PM »
Bare in mind, this wreck occurred at less than a 5mph differential between the cars.

So maybe it's just a lingo I'm not familiar with, but does '5mph differential' mean the cars were moving at 5mph (as everyone seems to be interpreting), or does that mean (as I read it) the speed difference between the cars is less than 5mph, in which case, the speed could be anything?

Rube

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2014, 08:40:03 PM »
You will likely need your own attorney. The insurer's attorney isn't necessarily working on your behalf. As others have pointed out, do not talk to the other party or their insurance company. That's going to get you in a heap of trouble with your own insurance company.

Just because someone rear ends you doesn't mean you're off the hook. You could be driving in a negligent manner, had faulty equipment, non-functioning brake lights or any number of things. And if you live in a comparative negligence state, there almost always will be a percentage of liability on your part.

This is one reason I carry an umbrella liability policy over and above the limits on my auto and H/O.

Good luck.

robotclown

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2014, 08:45:12 PM »

So maybe it's just a lingo I'm not familiar with, but does '5mph differential' mean the cars were moving at 5mph (as everyone seems to be interpreting), or does that mean (as I read it) the speed difference between the cars is less than 5mph, in which case, the speed could be anything?

I'm assuming it means the speed difference between cars was 5mph.  But it doesn't matter.  A car going 5mph hitting a parked car will have the same amount of force as a car going 55 hitting one going 50, for rear-ending, anyway. 

Primm

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2014, 12:08:21 AM »
Just a quick note here - I've heard that the reason drunks walk away from accidents and others don't is because they DON'T brace for impact (tightening up muscles etc).  Not sure if that's true or not, but I just wanted to say that bracing for an impact may not necessarily avoid issues and maybe could cause some more. 


True. One of the reasons why someone hit from behind who sees the other car coming often ends up with ankle and wrist injuries even in a low speed crash is that they brace their arms and legs in anticipation.

One of the first things you are taught in race driver education is that as soon as a crash is inevitable, you take your hands and feet off the pedals and steering wheel. If you're going to hit the wall anyway, this will result in the least damage to your body.

warfreak2

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2014, 05:11:13 AM »
I'm assuming it means the speed difference between cars was 5mph.  But it doesn't matter.  A car going 5mph hitting a parked car will have the same amount of force as a car going 55 hitting one going 50, for rear-ending, anyway.
Well, the immediate effects (i.e. fractions of a second after the collision) are going to be similar, but road friction and wind resistance are totally different between those two scenarios. Also, shocked/panicked drivers tend to control their vehicles considerably better at 0mph than at 50mph. So it matters.

mpg350

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2014, 05:26:47 AM »
You don't need to lose sleep over this.

Worst case your insurance company will pay out your limits of 100k and settle the claim.

The attorney and injured person are not going to touch your savings.  Worst case your insurance company finds you at fault
for the accident and you will get a rate increase in the future.

Just stay in touch with your insurance company.

I have been dealing with liability auto claims for 6+ years and nobody with third party coverage has lost any savings in a claim I have handled.  Allstate is also a good company its not like you have a no name insurance company.

Alectejas

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2014, 05:43:00 AM »
I agree with mpg350.  I would be AMAZED if you actually have to pay anything from your personal savings.  It just does not happen very often.  At this point its just a lot of hot air from the angry occupants of the other car.

mpg350

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2014, 06:18:48 AM »
Would be different story if you were a millionaire and you had a low limits 10/20 policy.

But even in this situation it would appear some liability is on the other driver.

This is a tip for all on the board if you are in an accident get a police report.
To many shady people on the road that will say one thing to you then report the accident as a hit and run.

Alectejas

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2014, 07:44:29 AM »
I just got off the phone with USAA.  I now have an umbrella policy (just in case).

okashira

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Re: VERY scared
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2014, 05:05:39 PM »
In a prior job I handled liability and first party medical claims in auto insurance -

- Your passenger is not a witness but make sure your insurance company has a statement from them.
- Make sure your insurance has gotten an estimate on your vehicle's damage with photos.
- Injuries from a 5 mph accident can happen but I typically saw them in people with prior injuries or pre-existing conditions.  Obviously insurance would be on the hook for any the portion of the injury made worse, but shoulder surgery from a 5 mph accident??
- Talk to your insurance claims adjuster.  Get an idea of how serious they are on even considering that it could be your fault.  It sounds like they aren't but if there's even a 10% chance they could agree to 50/50 you need to know.  What is the other driver saying?  You got rear ended.  In 2 years of claims I only had 1 accident where people claimed the person backed up into them in a parking lot.  Every other rear ending accident, the person in the back was at fault.  Get your claims adjuster to be very open and honest with you about why they would even consider 50/50. 
- Find out when the decision of fault is final or if the insurance companies go to arbitration.  Check back weekly/once a month/however frequently to make sure your adjuster is following up.
- During my stint as a claims adjuster, I only agreed to 50/50 when a) it truly was a 50/50 where both parties were at fault or b) I really thought I didn't stand a chance in arbitration and it was not a state where 50/50 meant my insured would be dinged as at-fault.  While arb could go either way, a rear ending accident is not a typical 50/50 outcome.
- Depending on the state you live in, a 50/50 outcome could mean different things to your stache.  Ask your claims adjuster if a 50/50 accident means you are considered at-fault and how that would impact you (can the other party sue you for more damages, will you be considered at fault in terms of your insurance premiums, are there any state mandated charges/fees for being at fault).

THIS IS NOT GOOD ADVICE. Have you read and analyzed the OP? To them, the incident is a blur, and he/she appears to not be equipped on having such a conversation with the adjuster.
The op is only likely to get himself or herself in more trouble by making more phone calls.

GET A LAWYER.