On Thu, 17 Nov 2005 10:19:09 -0700, "Nathan W. Collier"
the rule of law is interesting. philosphically, police do not
determine who is at fault at an accident scene. police are authorized
to issue tickets for driving infractions that they did not see if they
are investigating an accident. many states however require that those
violations be "related" to the accident, but not all.
so, in theory, the police could respond to the accident, issue several
cites for violations to driver a, but the insurance companies could
later decide that driver b was at fault. not likely, but that can
happen and sometimes does.
realistically, it does help to have the police issue citations for
infractions that led to the accident. it helps your cause should
there be a later dispute with the insurance companies and helps your
case years later if applying for new insurance to show that it was not
your fault. why don't police cite? two main reasons, one they feel
sorry for the drivers due to the injuries and/or damage already
present and two, laziness. personally, i would want cites issued. i
mean, how can police justify issuing you a ticket for something that
didn't cause an accident but could have, when they don't issue a
citation for the same violation that did cause an accident????
On Thu, 17 Nov 2005 10:19:09 -0700, "Nathan W. Collier"
When I got rear ended in my 3500 a few months ago, the cop didn't
write the other guy a ticket either. The cop explained that since
there was more than $500 damage (Totaled the other guys Taurus, bent
my rear bumper to the tune of $1800), he had to write an accident
report in which he fixed the blame on the other driver which satisfied
the insurance company requirement.
He didn't write a ticket even though the other guy was following too
closely. His reasoning was that "since the insurance company will
take care of it, the judge will dismiss the case. In the end, it will
end up costing both of you a day off of work to sit in court for a
I wouldn't have minded so much if the guy hadn't been whining about
the fact that it would be his second ticket in twelve days!
Nate, I'm truly glad that none of your family is injured. Scared the shit
out of them--probably, but not hurt.
The truck is metal and can be fixed. The important thing here is that thirty
years from now, are you gonna be mad that you lost a couple of thousand on
the truck or that your family didn't get hurt??
Don't want to piss ya off, but I tend to put things into perspective.
See, but here's the deal. The family DIDN'T get hurt - so that's out of the
equation. Now, it's just as if someone rammed his truck in a parking lot
(hey, wait.... that DID happen :). His truck is messed up, it's someone
else's fault, and he has every right to be pissed. This notion that, "well,
as long as no one got hurt" is bullshit. Obviously, if he had a choice:
let my family get hurt, or destroy the truck, it's not even a question.
That isn't the case. The two here aren't mutually exclusive.
I can understand exactly where he's coming from. It's different if they
were driving home, and a wind storm blew a tree over that hit the truck.
That's when you say, "well, metal can be fixed - as long as you're all OK".
That's an accident. It falls under the "shit happens" clause. The damage
to his truck is a DIRECT result of someone else's negligence. Plain and
simple. Yes - Nate's fortunate that his family wasn't hurt.... the moron
driving the other truck is even MORE fortunate. But, like I said, that's a
closed issue. Now it's about fixing the damage, and fixing it in such a way
that it doesn't hurt him financially down the road.
I see what you're saying and can't argue with it. I'd want my truck fixed
right to-back to like it was new cause it is a new truck. I just wouldn't
want to get a lawyer involved in it since the cost of one would probably be
more than the money I'd loose on the truck when I sold it.
Sorry to hear about the accident, but glad to hear everyone is OK.
Unfortunately theres no real way to determine how much value (if any) is
lost unless you have 2 identical vehicles with the same equipment and
mileage in the same area that resell for different prices after the same
amount of time on the market. On a properly repaired vehicle, the
diminution of value is not usually very much at all. On a collectors
car, it can be great, and those vehicles usually pay extra for a
different kind of insurance coverage.
Here's a recent case concerning diminution of value. Different states
look at this differently, but recently the Indiana Supreme court says
it's not covered in Indiana;
There's also a website that looks at several states and how they stand
on diminished value claims;
I worked in the claims department for 5 years for a major insurance
company (just the property damage area, not medical). We used the police
report only to gather factual information, like drivers names, VIN data,
distance from intersections, passenger names, etc. If the police officer
witnessed the accident, we would take his statement under consideration
along with other witness statements to help us determine fault. Most
police officers will not write a summons unless they witnessed or can
prove that a law was violated. If they didn't see the accident, it's
always a "he said, she said" scenario, so they are unwilling to write a
ticket/summons unless the violation is obvious (tires with no tread, no
inspection sticker, no proof of insurance, etc). It could have been that
the other vehicle was inching out into the highway trying to see around
parked trucks when the collision occurred, the police officer won't know
that. Fault will be determined by the insurance agents based on witness
statements and impact location and damage, plus types of roads or
driveways, etc. Most states now require the vehicles to be moved out of
the traffic lanes before the police even get there these days, unless an
injury or fatality ids involved, so the police might not even see what
the position of the vehicles was.
Your rights are to have the vehicle repaired to the condition it was in
prior to the accident. There are variations in different states about
whether or not aftermarket parts can be used, but your insurance company
will probably send you information about that once you file your claim.
The vehicle will be repaired (not replaced) unless they determine the
repairs might exceed the vehicles value (total loss). Based on the value
you mentioned for the truck, and the relatively small amount of damage
(it always seems worse to the owner) there's no doubt that the vehicle
It never hurts to get a free consultation, but keep in mind that if the
attorney is able to get an extra payment for diminution of value, the
extra payment you get might be less than what the lawyer collects from you.
Ask your agent about diminution of value, they should be able to fill
you in. I'd recommend letting your own company handle your claim, and
through a preferred repair facility if your happy with that facility.
Preferred facilities usually offer some extra benefits like no delays
for estimates, lifetime guarantees on the repairs/paint job, and
sometimes lower deductibles if you have to pay a deductible. Many states
allow your company to waive your deductible if it's obvious the other
person is at fault and they have insurance (sometimes a police report
needs to be written). That would mean that YOUR company will take care
of you and do everything (within the limits of your coverage) to get
reimbursement from the other company. It has to be obvious that the
other person was more at fault than your wife, though. They have to
consider what the other driver did to avoid the accident, and also what
your wife could have done to avoid the accident.
If you do decide to use an attorney, your insurance company might not be
able to help you with the claim because that action could affect their
ability to collect damages on your behalf. Make sure you read your
policy before you make that decision, it gives all the warnings and
potential exclusions in there.
You really need to contact your agent to go over your coverage and what
the rules of your particular state are, since all states differ in how
they determine negligence and payments.
where would you begin to estimate? seriously....if you were in the market
and found two identical trucks in the same price range, one with a damage
history and the other without any damage history, which one are you going to
If I had a choice between 2 trucks at the same price I would definitely
take the undamaged one, no question about it. But the real question is
if there was only 1 truck available, and it was properly repaired, how
much less would I pay than if it wasn't ever in an accident? I don't
know. I might pay the same if it had the equipment I wanted and it was
at a price I considered reasonable because there isn't a second truck to
compare it to. The used truck market is too fluid to say what the value
of one particular truck is worth from one day to the next. Depends on
the market at the day of sale.
to make things even more interesting, we learned today that the other driver
has the same insurance company. different broker, but same national
company. this solidifies my need to get an attorney. if insurance company
A were fighting for my best interests against insurance company B i would be
more apt to trust them. since they would be fighting themselves in this
case, i know whos best interest is important to my insurance company and its
not mine......its their own.
so........does anybody have any advice on how to handle the issue when you
have the same insurance company?
Actually, it is not a bad thing since they cannot say the other insurance
company is not responding. I would wait until you find out your wife
condition (if anything) because once you get started, additions will make
the insurance company very suspicious and defensive. As for attempting to
collect for depreciation due to the accident, good luck with that.
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving
"Nathan W. Collier" < snipped-for-privacy@Email.com> wrote in message
Actually, it can be better for you. You have your policy covering your
insured interests under your "first party" coverage, and your company
will cover the loss under the other drivers "third party" coverage. That
means that any potential gaps in coverage would be covered by the other
policy. They'll be quicker to take care of your repairs, and if you
don't have rental car coverage under your policy, you'll get it
automatically under the other drivers "liability" coverage as long as
he's at fault. No protracted arguments between companies haggling over
whether they'll pay your claims or not.
Keep in mind that if they were different companies, your company would
not necessarily be fighting for "your best interests". They are only
allowed to subrogate for actual payments they made to you under the
coverage that your policy contract calls for. They can't subrogate for
extra money that they didn't pay for, and if your policy doesn't cover
loss of value (very few do) then they can't try to get that from the
other company because they won't pay you for coverage you don't have.
You keep talking about needing an attorney; you really should check to
see what coverage you get under your policies before you waste your
money on an attorney. I always felt sorry for those people that got an
attorney to get coverage for their property damage. We ended up paying
the same as the original estimate, but then they had to take a large
chunk out of that and give it to their attorney, so they ended up paying
the difference out of their own pocket.
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