Help- Auto accident subrugation and liability advice

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:23 pm   Post subject: Help- Auto accident subrugation and liability advice  

Here's my story:



About the end of August (now the end of November) my car and I in it and another vehicle were in an accident.



Here's the essentials:

1. No one was personally injured.



2. The driver of the other vehicle was NOT the insured/owner of said vehicle (the owner was the sole passenger, though).



3. I failed to carry insurance at the time.



4. I was the one who called the police and reported the accident.



5. NEITHER PARTY was cited for any type of moving infraction ('though I was cited for failure to show insurance).



6. While neither party was cited as stated above, the other party clearly (both from my memory/experience of the accident and by looking at the nature of the damage to the two vehicles) impacted ME.



7. I have been contacted by a previously unknown witness to the accident who has stated if he had to give testimony, he would have to testify in a manner favorable with testimony exonerating me of wrongdoing.



8. This is a small (~9000 resident) community. While I don't personally know the driver of the other vehicle, he has a reputation as less than an upstanding individual and a long history of driving on suspended/revoked license (publicly available information through the state criminal records website). It would appear thus far that at the time he held a current driver's license. But I have no hope of this party admitting any fault whatsoever, in a court of law or otherwise.



9. The other party's vehicle is a stock 1994 Ford "Splash" Ranger pickup,(which according to my VERY generous KBB appraisal, RETAILS at an absolute maximum of $5365 which sustained the following damage:

a slight (pullable) dent to one front quarter panel

a broken headlight

a cracked wheel rim (stock and specific to the Splash package)





I have now been sent a letter/bill from the "Subrogation Department" of the other party's insurance company (Progressive) to the tune of $4700. I have great difficulty believing the other vehicle was damaged to such a degree. I on the other hand, sustained a completely damaged quarter panel, mangled front bumper, and a creased and irreparable hood.





While I do feel I responsible for not carrying insurance at the time, I DO NOT feel responsible for the accident itself.



As I see it, due to my own fault OF NOT CARRYING INSURANCE (yes, I'm a dumbass), I now have a damaged-but-drivable vehicle for which I myself must pay to repair the damage,.



However, I feel no moral obligation to pay for the damage of the other party's vehicle, especially with no negligence/responsibility of the accident assigned to either party. They hit me! Let me be clear, if I had impacted or caused an accident I would feel a moral obligation to pay the other party's damages. But in this case, I feel justified in feeling like the victim here.



What should I do? I feel like I'm being punished/bullied by the other party's insurance agency into paying for something for which I bear no responsibility- the other party hits me and now I have to pay to fix my car as well as theirs? As stated above, I feel no moral responsibility to pay this amount, but do I have a legal one? What actions should I take?



Thanks so much in advance for anyone's help.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:47 am   Post subject:   

Your post is really missing a big part of the situation.... what happen??!!??



You don't feel your at fault... the other person does. If people are to make an educated guess at what you should do, we _really_ need to know what happen.



You ask us to let you know if you have a legal responsibility to pay for repairs to the other vehicle. We can't know unless you tell us what happen. Also, mention what state the accident happen in as laws are different in most states.



Other then that... why was this witness not on the police report? This witness is going to come along 3 months later to the other person's carrier and state that they saw the accident... how is that going to look to the other carrier. Have you ever spoken to the other carrier? If not, they are only going to use their drivers statement in making a liability determination. If you have spoken to them, did you give them your version of the events and the contact information for the witness?



Again, there are some real problems with your situation and it looks like you have either created them or, at least, allowed them to happen. It's this 3 month period where it looks like you've not done anything that I really have to question. If you felt the other person was at fault in the accident, why did you not contact the other carrier and ask for payment?



One reason why people carry insurance is so that their carrier can provide them a defense against this type of situation. You acknowledge that you failed to obtain insurance so you assumed this responsibility on your own. I'm only mentioning this as it's just a simple fact and they way that you need to look at the situation.



My recommendation is that you contact the other person's insurance company and just tell them what happen. They will ask for a recorded statement. I'd not give them one (though, a recorded statement can't really be used for anything in this situation). Just tell them you'd be more then happy to explain what happen but you'd like to decline a recorded interview. Let them know who the witness is and explain how you came about this information. If this is the 1st time they've been told about this witness and it's 3 months later, they may not give much weight to his/her statement... it really depends as to if anything can support this person's account of what happen.



Ask the other carrier to send you a copy of the repair estimate on the other person's vehicle. If they want you to pay it, they need to submit an itemized estimate so that you can take a look at it. IMHO, many people don't know how easy it is to rack up a lot of cost for repairing a vehicle. I'm betting the repair bill is in line with the damage.

tcope
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:20 am   Post subject:   

Hi there!



Quote:
Ask the other carrier to send you a copy of the repair estimate on the other person's vehicle. If they want you to pay it, they need to submit an itemized estimate so that you can take a look at it




Absolutely!

This $4700 have to be explained to you in bits-n-pieces.



Quote:
I on the other hand, sustained a completely damaged quarter panel, mangled front bumper, and a creased and irreparable hood.




Do you have photo-shots of your car before & after the accident ? This information might help establish your claim about your car.

Thanks,

SteveMcHine

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:32 am   Post subject: All the best!  

Quote:
If you have spoken to them, did you give them your version of the events and the contact information for the witness?




Hi, I'd consider this to be of utmost importance!

If the witness had been so effective in your case why wasn't this person not contacted beforehand! Again see you need to remember some of the fundamentals while following up a car-accident case. The statements of these witnesses & their timeliness play a vital role at determining your claim or the other party's claim. So, the first thing that you need to do if you fall under such a circumstance is to collect the contact information of all the witnesses at the spot!

Milestone37

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:32 pm   Post subject:   

Good morning alaskapete@gmail.com and welcome to the community.



Couple of things first thanks for admitting you screwed up not being insured, you'd be surprised at the number of excuses people have for that! Rolling Eyes



Just because they 'hit you' doesn't mean you weren't at fault...if someone runs a red light and you hit them they are still at fault, so the mere fact that they collided with you doesn't make them the 'at fault' party...



As tcope said we clearly need additional facts of the loss/accident. The witness not being on the report is a REAL problem.

Quote:
previously unknown witness
That will look reallllllllly fishie, but of course advise the adjuster all the same, and let them make the call, (re:credibility).



I find it VERY hard to believe that the company did not try to contact you (several times) when the accident occured, in an attempt to get your version of this accident...Something doesn't smell right about that.... Confused



The subrogation demand should've had a copy of the estimate attached to it. You say his vehicle sustained
Quote:
a cracked wheel rim
that in and of it's self could have caused suspension and steering damage. I'm sure the estimate is in line with whatever damage occured to his vehicle.



The fact that no citations were given also has no bearing on the actual 'fault' there is still someone (in most cases) that is responsible for

the accident.



I disagree with, tcope's advise to refuse a recorded statement, (agree 100% with the rest of his post for what that's worth Wink ) and think it makes you look as though you are trying to hide something. If you tell the truth then what harm is there in that?



It also (sorry) makes no sense at all to me if you felt the other party at fault that you didn't pursue a claim with his company to start with...what's with that? I'm going to 'assume' you live in Alaska, if so perhaps this (i pulled from the Alaska dept of ins web page) is why?
Quote:
Failure to have insurance can result in the suspension of your driver's license. Before your license can be reinstated, proof of financial responsibility must be supplied and reinstatement fees must be paid. An SR-22 filing, which provides proof of financial responsibility, may be obtained from your insurance company and must be filed with the Division of Motor Vehicles for three years following an accident in which the driver was uninsured


If so I can almost guarantee you that the other guys company will file a report with them if they haven't already...



Your options as I see them are to:



a)pay up



b)cooperate with the carrier and hope they see some of this accident as their guys fault



c)file a small claims suit and hope the judge see's it your way, thus issueing a judgement in 'your' favor....



let us know the facts of the accident, and perhaps we can help you more...
Lori
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Lori
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