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my wife was rear-ended by a hertz rental car - need advice please

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rated:
All,
thank you for any advice on my situation.
we are located in Ca,
my wife was stopped at a red light, and was rear ended from behind, my guess was 5-10mph collision.
the other driver who hit us, was in a Hertz rental car, there was a driver and a passenger. the person who was driving at the time was an unauthorized driver of the vehicle.

the main damage is decent size scratches to the the rear bumper, i have had 3 quotes which range from $700-$900 to repaint the bumper. we have full coverage insurance (liberty mutual) with a deductible of $1000.
my wife asked the person who hit her for their information and they refused to give their name, phone number, or insurance ifnormation, at which point she called the police. also my wife watched them switch drivers.

the police arrived and told my wife she could go, and 2 weeks later we got the police report with names etc, also specifying who the driver was. at which point i opened a claim with my insurance, i waited 2 months, my insurance said that i would have to pay the $1k deductible to proceed any further or that i could call hertz and see if they would handle the claim.
so i went down the route of attempting to deal with hertz who opened the claim and referred me to esis claims. now a month after starting that process and never getting a call back from esis claims, we received a letter from them and i discovered that hertz (esis claims) has denied the claim and closed the case because it was an unauthorized driver.

so my question is now about how would things proceed, i just want the scratches fixed on my wife's new car, would my uninsured motorists coverage cover the 1k deductible? will my insurance go up significantly because of the claim even through it was the other drivers fault?

once again thanks for any advice

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I agree with the premise that honesty is important, especially in police reports.  The world would likely be a far bette... (more)

videogamesaremylife (Aug. 03, 2017 @ 10:33a) |

OP please change the title of the post to
"My wife's car was rear-ended by a hertz rental car - need advice please"

marcopolomle (Aug. 03, 2017 @ 11:17a) |

Sounds more salacious with the original title.

forbin4040 (Aug. 03, 2017 @ 11:39a) |

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rated:
Too bad you didn't go with the 'covered driver' was driving, then Hertz would've paid.

You have a few things

1) You pay the claim with your insurance
2) You go after the real driver of the car (Does he have personal insurance?)
3) You go after the insured driver of the car.
4) You TRY to go after Hertz (This only works if you have serious injuries)

Will it raise your rates? Depends on your company. Get a CLUE report.

rated:
Uninsured motorist should cover the claim w/o deductible. You really should let your insurance handle the whole thing though--pay the deductable and they **should** give it back to you when they're done threatening to sue Hertz. 

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forbin4040 said:   Too bad you didn't go with the 'covered driver' was driving, then Hertz would've paid.

 

  Is this the best hindsight answer? couldn't you be nailed for filing false police report if Hertz investigated and got CCTV or whatevs showing the unauth driver?

rated:
Stubtify said:   Uninsured motorist should cover the claim w/o deductible.

Depends on the state, in many this would be covered under collision.

ETA: Re-read and saw OP is in CA, which has UM PD available. That works if OP has the coverage.

rated:
I called my insurance company, and they agreed to waive the surcharge now that i have a letter from Hertz denying the claim.
they did confirm that my rates will most likely go up because of 2 factors
1. the car no longer has no accidents reported against it.
2. they say my wife is driving in a higher risk area and is at higher risk of future accidents.

i asked the person what they would suggest, and they advised in my case to probably get it fixed outside of insurance.

also to answer the question i believe the driver was uninsured but we don't know for sure. we certainly don't have any insurance information, nor does the police report. will a clue report tell me if the other driver has any auto insurance at the time of the accident? and how would i get one, i only have her name, DOB and driver license # from the police report.

does filing the claim and letting them repaint the bumper, show as a claim against the vehicle and lower its resale value?

so i am wondering if it is still in my best interest to pay this out of pocket to 1. remove the insurance increase, and 2. reduce the impact on the vehicle value.

 

rated:
I don't understand people that get in car accidents and then don't use the car insurance that they pay for to get their car fixed because their insurance rates will go up. If you are only getting insurance to cover you when you slam into a $90,000 Porsche, then get liability only.

rated:
rufflesinc said:   
forbin4040 said:   Too bad you didn't go with the 'covered driver' was driving, then Hertz would've paid.

 

  Is this the best hindsight answer? couldn't you be nailed for filing false police report if Hertz investigated and got CCTV or whatevs showing the unauth driver?

  
Just don't tell the police officer who was driving. If pressed, just say you're not sure, you were first attending to your family's well-being, and you didn't notice who got out from the driver's side.

rated:
zhakar said:   I called my insurance company, and they agreed to waive the surcharge now that i have a letter from Hertz denying the claim.
they did confirm that my rates will most likely go up because of 2 factors
1. the car no longer has no accidents reported against it.
2. they say my wife is driving in a higher risk area and is at higher risk of future accidents.

i asked the person what they would suggest, and they advised in my case to probably get it fixed outside of insurance.

also to answer the question i believe the driver was uninsured but we don't know for sure. we certainly don't have any insurance information, nor does the police report. will a clue report tell me if the other driver has any auto insurance at the time of the accident? and how would i get one, i only have her name, DOB and driver license # from the police report.

does filing the claim and letting them repaint the bumper, show as a claim against the vehicle and lower its resale value?

so i am wondering if it is still in my best interest to pay this out of pocket to 1. remove the insurance increase, and 2. reduce the impact on the vehicle value.

 

  let your insurance company handle it.
If they actually raise your rates, shop around. Those sound like dumb reasons for insurance rates to go up.
 

rated:
Consider getting a $8 bottle of rubbing compound and seeing what that does.    I scraped the side of car against a wall......many scratches /smudges .   The rubbing compound removed a lot
of junk........still looks like hell because it was so bad to begin with but much much better.    If your damage is less, maybe it'll be easier to fix.

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Police report not have the other drivers insurance info? You should be able to file directly with other Ins company.

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dumroo said:   Police report not have the other drivers insurance info? You should be able to file directly with other Ins company.He should go through HIS insurance company, not the other insurance company. This is what insurance premiums pay for.

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zhakar said:   I called my insurance company, and they agreed to waive the surcharge now that i have a letter from Hertz denying the claim.
they did confirm that my rates will most likely go up because of 2 factors
1. the car no longer has no accidents reported against it.
2. they say my wife is driving in a higher risk area and is at higher risk of future accidents.

i asked the person what they would suggest, and they advised in my case to probably get it fixed outside of insurance.
Agree with batman, those reasons are really stupid. The first one doesn't make any sense -- they insure the driver, not the car. In fact, now that the car has accidents reported against it, it should be less expensive to insure, not more. The second reason just sounds dumb -- I've never been asked about where I drive, only where the car is garaged (I'm also in CA). I remember reading that most accidents occur within a few miles of home (makes sense, cause that's probably where you spend a plurality of the time spent in your car), so only your home address matters for rates. I suspect the person you spoke to was lying. Who is your insurance provider?

rated:
It seems like OP would have been better off with reporting as little as possible to everyone.

1) Cops - they would have likely written the ticket for the person renting the car (aka who was in the driver's seat)
2) Own Insurance Agency - them not having to track down the actual driver's insurance - if they had any at all
3) Rental Car - they would have paid out the claim

If you would have gone with "I got hit in the back by your car" it might have been a different situation. Which is ass-backwards in my opinion and speaks to the bureaucracy our society now lives in.

rated:
imbatman said:   
zhakar said:   I called my insurance company, and they agreed to waive the surcharge now that i have a letter from Hertz denying the claim.
they did confirm that my rates will most likely go up because of 2 factors
1. the car no longer has no accidents reported against it.
2. they say my wife is driving in a higher risk area and is at higher risk of future accidents.

i asked the person what they would suggest, and they advised in my case to probably get it fixed outside of insurance.

also to answer the question i believe the driver was uninsured but we don't know for sure. we certainly don't have any insurance information, nor does the police report. will a clue report tell me if the other driver has any auto insurance at the time of the accident? and how would i get one, i only have her name, DOB and driver license # from the police report.

does filing the claim and letting them repaint the bumper, show as a claim against the vehicle and lower its resale value?

so i am wondering if it is still in my best interest to pay this out of pocket to 1. remove the insurance increase, and 2. reduce the impact on the vehicle value.

 

  let your insurance company handle it.
If they actually raise your rates, shop around. Those sound like dumb reasons for insurance rates to go up.

  I'm not sure if it's true, but a Geico rep told me that not-at-fault incidents do not impact your rates with them.

rated:
" we received a letter from them and i discovered that hertz (esis claims) has denied the claim and closed the case because it was an unauthorized driver."

Whether the driver was 'unauthorized' is irrelevant. Imagine this: I rented my car to Larry, who then let Curly drive it. Curly rear-ended you. Afterwards, you submitted a claim to me. I then denied it, saying "Curly was unauthorized to drive my vehicle." Absurd, right?

Take this to small claims. Sue Hertz, driver and renter. One or more of them is going to pay.

If possible, avoid filing a claim with your insurance. Save that for big claims. You don't want to get rate jacked for many years over $900

EDIT: Your wife was rear-ended. Is there still time to get a PI lawyer for her chronic neck/back pain?

EDIT: Looks as if Hertz enjoys a liability shield, thanks to The Graves Amendment.

rated:
rufflesinc said:   
forbin4040 said:   Too bad you didn't go with the 'covered driver' was driving, then Hertz would've paid.

 

  Is this the best hindsight answer? couldn't you be nailed for filing false police report if Hertz investigated and got CCTV or whatevs showing the unauth driver?

  I'm sure Hertz would subpoena CCTV footage over $900.

If it did, why care?  After the accident, Person X identified himself as "the driver." So you assumed he was "the driver." 

rated:
zinaba said:   
rufflesinc said:   
forbin4040 said:   Too bad you didn't go with the 'covered driver' was driving, then Hertz would've paid.

 

  Is this the best hindsight answer? couldn't you be nailed for filing false police report if Hertz investigated and got CCTV or whatevs showing the unauth driver?

  I'm sure Hertz would subpoena CCTV footage over $900.

If it did, why care?  After the accident, Person X identified himself as "the driver." So you assumed he was "the driver." 

  its not a good idea to assume when signing police reports

rated:
rufflesinc said:   
zinaba said:   
rufflesinc said:   
forbin4040 said:   Too bad you didn't go with the 'covered driver' was driving, then Hertz would've paid.

 

  Is this the best hindsight answer? couldn't you be nailed for filing false police report if Hertz investigated and got CCTV or whatevs showing the unauth driver?

  I'm sure Hertz would subpoena CCTV footage over $900.

If it did, why care?  After the accident, Person X identified himself as "the driver." So you assumed he was "the driver." 

  its not a good idea to assume when signing police reports

  feel free to be paranoid.  but a reasonable assumption is not getting anybody arrested for filing a false police report.  That kind of charge is reserved for a complete fabrication (examples: somebody claims vehicle was stolen, knowing it wasn't; somebody claims to have been in a auto accident, knowing it was staged; somebody claims to have been robbed, knowing he wasn't, etc.).

rated:
File a claim with your insurance company.
After filing a claim, switch insurance. We did the same and disclosed everything to new insurance company and they still gave us good rates.

rated:
Jerry: Uh huh, what's that?

Agent: You're not covered for other drivers.

Jerry: Other drivers?

Agent: Um hm.

Jerry: Your whole business is based on other drivers. It's a rented car.
That's who's driving it, other drivers.

rated:
You pay for insurance so you don't have to sue Hertz. Your insurance does that for you.

rated:
zinaba said:   If possible, avoid filing a claim with your insurance. Save that for big claims. You don't want to get rate jacked for many years over $900The rates shouldn't go up -- OP's wife was not at fault.

rated:
scripta said:   
zinaba said:   If possible, avoid filing a claim with your insurance. Save that for big claims. You don't want to get rate jacked for many years over $900
The rates shouldn't go up -- OP's wife was not at fault.

  Welcome to CA, where you rates go up if you move across the street.

Or you forget to mow your lawn.

rated:
If I had a dollar for every time my wife was "rear ended"....BOOM   ZING!

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And yet no mention of anyone having a cell phone, doesn't everyone have a cell phone with them all of the time these days? (they also take pictures too)

A picture is worth a thousand words....

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zhakar said:   so i went down the route of attempting to deal with hertz who opened the claim and referred me to esis claims. now a month after starting that process and never getting a call back from esis claims, we received a letter from them and i discovered that hertz (esis claims) has denied the claim and closed the case because it was an unauthorized driver.

 

Isn't Hertz required (as the owner) to provide state minimum insurance or self-insure for the state minimum?  They can go after the renter for violating their rental terms later, but I didn't think they could deny liability coverage for a car they owned.

rated:
elektronic said:   
zhakar said:   so i went down the route of attempting to deal with hertz who opened the claim and referred me to esis claims. now a month after starting that process and never getting a call back from esis claims, we received a letter from them and i discovered that hertz (esis claims) has denied the claim and closed the case because it was an unauthorized driver.

 

Isn't Hertz required (as the owner) to provide state minimum insurance or self-insure for the state minimum?  They can go after the renter for violating their rental terms later, but I didn't think they could deny liability coverage for a car they owned.

  That's the thing, liability is on the driver in CA, OP can sue Hertz to get some money but it's not really worth it unless there is some serious money involved.

rated:
wait, no pics of the wife or the car? WTH kinda of post is this?

rated:
forbin4040 said:   
elektronic said:   
zhakar said:   so i went down the route of attempting to deal with hertz who opened the claim and referred me to esis claims. now a month after starting that process and never getting a call back from esis claims, we received a letter from them and i discovered that hertz (esis claims) has denied the claim and closed the case because it was an unauthorized driver.

 

Isn't Hertz required (as the owner) to provide state minimum insurance or self-insure for the state minimum?  They can go after the renter for violating their rental terms later, but I didn't think they could deny liability coverage for a car they owned.

  That's the thing, liability is on the driver in CA, OP can sue Hertz to get some money but it's not really worth it unless there is some serious money involved.

  This CA law firm claims that car insurance applies to a vehicle, not a driver.
CA law firm said: The bottom line is that car insurance applies to the vehicle, not the driver.
https://www.liljegreninjurylawyers.com/who-is-liable-for-damages-when-driver-is-not-the-vehicle-owner/ 

I'm not saying Hertz is liable.  The OP's situation is somewhat tricky since there wasn't "permissible use."  For that reason, Hertz might get to avoid paying anything.  Ultimately, OP should get a lawyer to look into this.

EDIT: There might actually be "permissive use."  Hertz permitted renter to use the rental.  Then renter permitted his friend to use the car.  Perhaps Hertz assumes liability under a theory of vicarious liability?  IDK.

Any law kids want to chime in?

rated:
That link is for 'individual' not corporation.

But doesn't matter, as I said, if it is a low amount, good luck suing Hertz.

rated:
meade18 said:   I don't understand people that get in car accidents and then don't use the car insurance that they pay for to get their car fixed because their insurance rates will go up. If you are only getting insurance to cover you when you slam into a $90,000 Porsche, then get liability only.
  it's simple math
if it's gonna cost you more in the long run to file a claim over a few hundred dollars in damage then it's foolish to file a claim.all that matters is the math.

for the op-how did hertz find out they switched drivers? did you tell them? if so-big mistake.
the insurance industry is a racket and this is a perfect example of it. do what's best for you when dealing with them. let the other person lie on the police report if they want to say the right person was driving since it helps it. it's extremely unlikely any video is being supenaed for this anyway.

rated:
My "vicarious liability" notion was possibly correct until 2005. That's when The Graves Amendment changed the game.

"Imagine you were struck in the crosswalk by an absent-minded tourist in a rental car, resulting in multiple broken bones, torn ligaments, and years of painful and expensive physical therapy. Typically, you would settle your injury claims through the driver's own insurance policy or even through a lawsuit against the driver.

But before 2005, you also could file a claim against the car rental company for damages under the legal theory of "vicarious liability" in states with laws allowing such claims against the "owners" of motor vehicles.

This all changed when the so-called Graves Amendment (49 U.S.C. § 30106) was passed in 2005, virtually eliminating vicarious liability claims against rental car companies. The following is a discussion of this federal law and how it affects rental car liability.

The Graves Amendment at a Glance
The Graves Amendment is part of a federal highway bill signed into law in 2005. It basically bars vicarious liability claims against car rental companies for injuries caused by their customers, unless it can be proven that the company's negligence or actions contributed to those injuries. Federal law states the following:

An owner of a motor vehicle that rents or leases the vehicle to a person (or an affiliate of the owner) shall not be liable under the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, by reason of being the owner of the vehicle (or an affiliate of the owner), for harm to persons or property that results or arises out of the use, operation, or possession of the vehicle during the period of the rental or lease, if:

The owner (or an affiliate of the owner) is engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles; and
There is no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner (or an affiliate of the owner).

Since most rental cars cross state lines (or operate in multiple states), and are thus engaged in interstate commerce, the Graves Amendment preempts state liability laws. It also has been used in state courts to protect companies that rent tractors, trailers, and other such vehicles from vicarious liability. It also has been determined to apply to carsharing companies such as zipcar. However, it's still not clear whether this also extends to loaner agreements with auto dealers.

What the Graves Amendment Means for You
Even before the amendment was passed, car rental companies were in the practice of drafting contract language that released them from vicarious liability, offering temporary rental insurance for those otherwise lacking coverage. Generally, you (either personally or through your own insurer) are liable for any injuries caused by a rental car that are determined to be your fault.  But if the injuries were the result of the company's negligence -- dangerously worn brakes, for instance -- then the victim may pursue a claim against the car rental company. Similarly, the rental company will be liable for any injuries resulting from criminal activity. Typical negligence claims against rental companies include negligent entrustment, negligent maintenance, and failure to properly train or manage employees

 http://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/the-graves-amendment-and... 

rated:
bucktownboy said:   And yet no mention of anyone having a cell phone, doesn't everyone have a cell phone with them all of the time these days? (they also take pictures too)

A picture is worth a thousand words....

  PICTURES!  That saved me a lot of time when I got rear ended.  The other persons insurance company didn't even send an adjuster.  I emailed some pictures taken AT THE SCENE and they payed my deductible.*
*No fault state.

rated:
nasheedb said:   
rufflesinc said:   
forbin4040 said:   Too bad you didn't go with the 'covered driver' was driving, then Hertz would've paid.

 

  Is this the best hindsight answer? couldn't you be nailed for filing false police report if Hertz investigated and got CCTV or whatevs showing the unauth driver?

  
Just don't tell the police officer who was driving. If pressed, just say you're not sure, you were first attending to your family's well-being, and you didn't notice who got out from the driver's side.

  All the while glaring at the other "driver", letting them know you know the real deal so they better not try to weasel out of liability.

rated:
Why do people always try to deal directly with insurance companies?  Sue the driver that caused the damage, it's their responsibility to invoke any insurance they may have that covers that liability.  Or file a claim with your insurance that you've paid for, and let them pursue whoever's liable.

rated:
Glitch99 said:   Why do people always try to deal directly with insurance companies?  Sue the driver that caused the damage, it's their responsibility to invoke any insurance they may have that covers that liability.  Or file a claim with your insurance that you've paid for, and let them pursue whoever's liable.
  Or, just the latter (file with your insurance). As has been stated many times on this forum, that's the reason you have insurance, so you don't have to deal with this.

rated:
Famous Last words,,"The rates shouldn't go up "lol

rated:
bxlefty23 said:   
meade18 said:   I don't understand people that get in car accidents and then don't use the car insurance that they pay for to get their car fixed because their insurance rates will go up. If you are only getting insurance to cover you when you slam into a $90,000 Porsche, then get liability only.
  it's simple math
if it's gonna cost you more in the long run to file a claim over a few hundred dollars in damage then it's foolish to file a claim.all that matters is the math.


But where did the OP do the math? That's a big IF. How much is his insurance going to go up? How long will it take with that higher rate to be more expensive than the repairs? If he shopped around for insurance, how much could he save? It's math, but it sure isn't simple. Why plunk down $900 hoping that your insurance would have gone up $300/year and you're making your $900 back in year 4? You're better off taking the $900 from insurance and then when they raise your rates by $300/year, finding another insurance company. OR, the more likely scenario, they raise your rates $100/yr and considering how long it will take to get to $900, you made the right choice.
  

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rated:
Sounds more salacious with the original title.

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