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Recently, I and my wife and daughter were coming from Ross store at El Cerrito, California. At a rotary, a middle aged lady hit our car with her bumper. What happened was that the lady did not stop at the stop sign. We were already in the rotary and the left side of her bumper hit the passenger's door, squeezing it in and then leaving marks on the rear passenger's door. The woman came out and kept apologizing, telling us that she did not see us and that it was her fault. She called her husband who came and suggest we should call police while the incident was fresh in our mind. The lady also admitted to her husband that she was at fault. Her husband called the police. When a police man came and heard from us, he (the policeman) said that we don't need a police report since:
1) we have exchanged insurance details
2)the accident was in public property,
3)one party (the lay admitted her fault)
4)There was no drink-driving
He said that our insurance will take it from there. 
I was surprised that the policeman said a report I not necessary. But being naive, and not knowing how things are done in the US, I kept quiet. Alo, the policeman did not take any alcohol test and I wa puzzled how he came to conclusion that none of the party is drunk. Now, I am suspecting that maybe the husband colluded with the police officer on phone as the husband walked to a distance when calling the police.
As an international student in the US who has never been in car accident before, I and my wife didn't know what to do. I was assuming that since the lady was so sorry and apologetic, and being a middle aged woman, I should be calm and respectful; I also trusted and believed that she will admit her fault to her insurance company.
The lady's insurance called us and sent someone to appraise the car. They also asked for our statement which we sent. They sent us the cost of repair which is a little more than 3000 and said the car is a write off.
Now, the insurance is saying that the woman said we cut her off in the rotary and as such we are at fault, and that they are denying liability. Me and my wife were speechless and pained that someone we showed respect will now cause us such pain. It was like being stabbed on the back by one's trusted best friend. What should we do? We didn't insure our car against damage. Our insurance said that there is nothing they can do, that I they won't take up the case. Please advise us. 
 

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Only if you have time to play phone tag with their adjuster and argue about the details of the accident. Meanwhile, you ... (more)

qcumber98 (Aug. 06, 2017 @ 7:36p) |

That may be what you choose to do; if they dont offer what I feel I'm entitled to - repairs, rental car, medical bills -... (more)

Glitch99 (Aug. 06, 2017 @ 8:54p) |

again it's simple math and risk assessment. that's all insurance is.
collision is often a terrible bet- in some cases it ... (more)

bxlefty23 (Aug. 06, 2017 @ 10:51p) |

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She lied to the Police officer or She lied to the Insurance company. Tell your insurance company this and have them take it up.

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Tell the insurance company that she was in the fault for hitting you, you didn't her her.
Police don't take reports in CA for low amounts anymore, because the cities want to be known as 'Safe'.

Why won't your insurance pay you? That sounds wrong.

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dealgain said:   Tell your insurance company this and have them take it up.
 
forbin4040 said:   Why won't your insurance pay you?

They don't have collision coverage so that would be pointless.

robertnnaemeka said:   We didn't insure our car against damage.
  

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She lied to her insurance (or I suspect her insurance concocted the lie). The lady admitted her fault to the police officer.

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dealgain said:   She lied to the Police officer or She lied to the Insurance company. Tell your insurance company this and have them take it up.
  She lied to her insurance (or I suspect her insurance concocted the lie). The lady admitted her fault to the police officer.

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robertnnaemeka said:   The lady admitted her fault to the police officer.

Contact the police officer. Maybe he'll remember and help you out by writing something up.
  

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I am still speechless that the insurance said we cut the lady off at the rotary when the rotary has only one lane and that precludes such possibility.

Alo, the insurance asked for police report an we explained to them what the policeman said but they were like "since you have no police report we won't take liability"

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Chyvan said:   
robertnnaemeka said:   The lady admitted her fault to the police officer.

Contact the police officer. Maybe he'll remember and help you out by writing something up.
  

  Thank you. We went to the police station this morning and the man happened not to be in the office. We left him a voice mail. But I fear that the insurance might reject the report since they already know that it was not made on the day of the accident. 

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Hindsight is 20/20, but this seems good advertisement for getting a dashcam.  Also, for on-scene documentation, e.g., photos, written or video statement.

As for your situation:  Suggest sending the other person's insurance company a letter summarizing why you think their customer is at fault, and telling them you plan to take legal action if prompt payment is not made.  Even better would be getting an attorney to write the letter, shouldn't cost more than $200-$300 (or nothing if you have a prepaid legal plan).

Good luck.

ETA:  I can't conceive of any legitimate ins. co. "rejecting" a police report, regardless of the date.  It would be Exhibit 1 in any civil trial for liability.

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I was rear-ended about 3 years ago at a crossing in San Francisco when the traffic lights turned green and I was waiting for the pedestrians to pass. The party at fault also lied to his insurance company stating that I was backing off at the crossing. Because I only have the liability coverage, the insurance company only paid half of the estimation because the insurance company said that we were both at fault. Your best bet is that you can find a witness at the time of the accident. If you did not, you should learn this lesson. I don't think you have too many options other than repairing the car yourself. And you'd better purchase a windshield camera. Do not trust anyone in a car accident.

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haoniukun said:   I was rear-ended about 3 years ago at a crossing in San Francisco when the traffic lights turned green and I was waiting for the pedestrians to pass. The party at fault also lied to his insurance company stating that I was backing off at the crossing. Because I only have the liability coverage, the insurance company only paid half of the estimation because the insurance company said that we were both at fault. Your best bet is that you can find a witness at the time of the accident. If you did not, you should learn this lesson. I don't think you have too many options other than repairing the car yourself. And you'd better purchase a windshield camera. Do not trust anyone in a car accident.
  Sounds more like the insurance gave you a BS lowball and you took it.

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forbin4040 said:   Tell the insurance company that she was in the fault for hitting you, you didn't her her.
Police don't take reports in CA for low amounts anymore, because the cities want to be known as 'Safe'.

Why won't your insurance pay you? That sounds wrong.

  Thanks for the information. I didn't know that. My question is this: in such situation, how can insurance or court settle it when one party starts to deny his/her fault? 
I should have prompted the officer to take a report, more so when our 9 months old daughter was in the car and there was no way we could know if she was injured or not. We later took her to her doctor for examination.
I am thinking I should have told the lady to write a report and sign it in the presence of someone working in the shopping complex as an evidence. Naive me. 

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haoniukun said:   I was rear-ended about 3 years ago at a crossing in San Francisco when the traffic lights turned green and I was waiting for the pedestrians to pass. The party at fault also lied to his insurance company stating that I was backing off at the crossing. Because I only have the liability coverage, the insurance company only paid half of the estimation because the insurance company said that we were both at fault. Your best bet is that you can find a witness at the time of the accident. If you did not, you should learn this lesson. I don't think you have too many options other than repairing the car yourself. And you'd better purchase a windshield camera. Do not trust anyone in a car accident.
  Thank you. My wife was the driver and I was in the passenger seat. Can my witness statement count? Although I saw one man at  passageway opposite the accident scene, he walked away without coming to us. I should have called him to come and bear witness. The car was insured in my name and it was my wife who drove it when accident occurred. Both of us are allowed by our insurance to drive the car

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tuphat said:   Hindsight is 20/20, but this seems good advertisement for getting a dashcam.  Also, for on-scene documentation, e.g., photos, written or video statement.

As for your situation:  Suggest sending the other person's insurance company a letter summarizing why you think their customer is at fault, and telling them you plan to take legal action if prompt payment is not made.  Even better would be getting an attorney to write the letter, shouldn't cost more than $200-$300 (or nothing if you have a prepaid legal plan).

Good luck.

ETA:  I can't conceive of any legitimate ins. co. "rejecting" a police report, regardless of the date.  It would be Exhibit 1 in any civil trial for liability.

  Thank you. We will look at how to pursue it. Our problem is that we can't afford such attorney fee (one of the problems grad students have.lol).

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I have the phone number of the lady. Do we call her an tell her what the insurance is claiming?

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robertnnaemeka said:   I have the phone number of the lady. Do we call her an tell her what the insurance is claiming?
  NO

Deal with Insurance only.  Do not deal with the other side as that might construe as harassment 

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Just goto the police station and file an accident report. Not all accident reports need to be on the scene or on the day of the accident. Give the accident report number to the lady who hit you so she can add her version of the story to the report. You can also note on the report that the officer on the scene took statements.of both drivers and the other driver admitted her fault to the police officer.

Then let her insurance co deal with that. Of needed to sue in the small claims court, you can call the officer as a witness.

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forbin4040 said:   
robertnnaemeka said:   I have the phone number of the lady. Do we call her an tell her what the insurance is claiming?
  NO

Deal with Insurance only.  Do not deal with the other side as that might construe as harassment 

  Wow. I didn't know that. Thanks very much. Naive me. The lady was quick to bring out her insurance and offer us her phone number. That made us have a sense that she was sincere. I was then thinking that should anything happens, such as insurance problem, that we will call her. I have been taught a had lesson by the woman and her insurance. I will now see what the police officer will say and also try to convince the insurance in writing that the woman's claim is false. If nothing works, I will just learn my lesson and move on. Wish the world is filled with sincere people.

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ach1199 said:   Just goto the police station and file an accident report. Not all accident reports need to be on the scene or on the day of the accident. Give the accident report number to the lady who hit you so she can add her version of the story to the report. You can also note on the report that the officer on the scene took statements.of both drivers and the other driver admitted her fault to the police officer.

Then let her insurance co deal with that. Of needed to sue in the small claims court, you can call the officer as a witness.

  Thank you. I will do that. 
You guys have been very helpful. 

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Around these parts we usually call it a roundabout.

The more I read these stories, the more I believe everyone needs a dash cam.

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robertnnaemeka said:   
..Wish the world is filled with sincere people.

  Are you for real, I mean, this is fairly typical even in your native land (Africa?).  I really recommend binge watch a weekful of People's court.

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scripta said:   Around these parts we usually call it a roundabout.

The more I read these stories, the more I believe everyone needs a dash cam.

  +1000. Now that I have a dashcam, would never drive a car without one.

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I was in a similar situation recently and the police told me they won't write an accident report unless someone is seriously injured. Since the driver who hit you lied to the insurance company, the adjuster will try to claim partial liability. Since you didn't have collision, you will have to stay on top of this case. If they ignore you, then send a simple message on Twitter to their insurance company and you should get a call back the next business day. If it gets worse than that, then your last resort is to file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance. Lastly, let this be a lesson to always have collision coverage.

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Also we don't use rotary anymore. It's all touch tone.

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forbin4040 said:   
robertnnaemeka said:   I have the phone number of the lady. Do we call her an tell her what the insurance is claiming?
  NO

Deal with Insurance only.  Do not deal with the other side as that might construe as harassment 

  As far as informal communication, yes.  But you would send anything formal - a demand letter, notice of intent to sue, lawsuit documents, etc - to the other driver.  

You are always collecting from the other driver, and it's between them and their insurance to determine who is actually writing the check (ie, it really isn't any of your business).  Their insurance company proactively stepping up is their own prerogative and simplifies the process, but their failure to do so doesn't really mean anything.  A lot of times insurance won't consider liability until you've shown you are serious in pursuing it, as a means of weeding out frivolous claims.  Merely drafting lawsuit papers can prompt a settlement where liability had previously been denied.

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cameras in the cars sounds better and better!!

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Since the impact location is incompatible with her story the facts are pretty clear here. I think their insurance is just trying to be dirty. I suspect small claims court is the answer in this case.

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scripta said:   Around these parts we usually call it a roundabout.Around these parts we usually call it a traffic circle.
  

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ZenNUTS said:   
robertnnaemeka said:   
..Wish the world is filled with sincere people.

  Are you for real, I mean, this is fairly typical even in your native land (Africa?).  I really recommend binge watch a weekful of People's court.

  You are correct. Where I come from, it is typical for some people to try to take advantage of another person's naivety. But for me I would't do that because of the golden rule. I would say I was completely naive. 

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Yesterday, I decided to use satellite image to have a clear view of the accident scene in preparation to writing to the insurance. To my confusion I realized that there are two lanes that leads to the rotary/roundabout in all three directions that lead to the rotary which made me suspect that the rotary must have two lanes. Although we were already in the rotary before the lady entered it I can't sincerely say if my wife was making a change of lane or not when the accident occurred although I can say I can't remember seeing her do lane change. One thing I am certain is that the lady didn't stop at the stop sign. I remember wondering aloud "why didn't this driver stop at the stop sign before entering the rotary?" just a second before the collision occurred.

Also I suspect that the insurance is playing game. They sent someone to appraise it and even sent us the result of it, saying that the cost of repair is bigger than the cost of the car(we bought it for 2000 in December last year).

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Most traffic circle does not have a stop sign, only a caution sign.

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See the link to the accident scene in the link below. We were coming from C street an intended to exit through Carlson Blvd. The lady was coming from Liberty street. The collision occurred somewhere along a radius drawn that passes roughly through the midpoint of car position in the map (the radius is with respect to the rotary.)
google street map of the accident scene. 
 

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The intersection is an accident or two or ten waiting to happening.

Where do they get the traffic "engineers" in this country?  I see more and more poorly designed roads every day.

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NoMoneyInMyWallet said:   The intersection is an accident or two or ten waiting to happening.

Where do they get the traffic "engineers" in this country?  I see more and more poorly designed roads every day.

Agree about this intersection. I feel the circle is so small that it should only have single lanes entering, not two lanes from each of the three streets. If you are just going to exit at the next street you basically start exiting as soon as you enter the circle. Who would ever want to be in the inside lane? 

Sometimes I feel the city (traffic engineering) should bear at least partial liability at extremely poorly designed intersections. 

Good news here is that it's clear that all incoming traffic is supposed to stop. 

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NoMoneyInMyWallet said:   The intersection is an accident or two or ten waiting to happening.

Where do they get the traffic "engineers" in this country?  I see more and more poorly designed roads every day.

  Actually, this is a "classic" roundabout that works perfectly fine when drivers pay attention, follow the rules, etc.  Since many do not, many roundabouts have been redesigned and "dumbed down," funnel all traffic not exiting at the next outlet into a single lane.

As maybe others have said, California law mandates drivers entering a roundabout yield to those already in the roundabout -- op should make clear in accident report that he was already in the circle adn other driver was entering.  Also, just curious:  is this roundabout on private property (shopping center)?

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tuphat said:   
NoMoneyInMyWallet said:   The intersection is an accident or two or ten waiting to happening.

Where do they get the traffic "engineers" in this country?  I see more and more poorly designed roads every day.

  Actually, this is a "classic" roundabout that works perfectly fine when drivers pay attention, follow the rules, etc.  Since many do not, many roundabouts have been redesigned and "dumbed down," funnel all traffic not exiting at the next outlet into a single lane.

 

What is the person entering on the left supposed to do, in this classic roundabout?  He has to wait for both lanes to be clear before entering the roundabout, then immediately try to move to the right to exit it? That makes no sense, especially since the roads feeding it are all 1 lane, there's no reason to separate them into 2 lanes at the entrance.  People being expected to change lanes at the same point others are trying to enter the road should never be part of the planned traffic flow.

Of course, the lack of any visible lane markers in the roundabout is another matter.

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robertnnaemeka said:   Yesterday, I decided to use satellite image to have a clear view of the accident scene in preparation to writing to the insurance. To my confusion I realized that there are two lanes that leads to the rotary/roundabout in all three directions that lead to the rotary which made me suspect that the rotary must have two lanes. Although we were already in the rotary before the lady entered it I can't sincerely say if my wife was making a change of lane or not when the accident occurred although I can say I can't remember seeing her do lane change. One thing I am certain is that the lady didn't stop at the stop sign. I remember wondering aloud "why didn't this driver stop at the stop sign before entering the rotary?" just a second before the collision occurred.
 

  I'd forget that you noticed this.  It's not particularly relevant to someone running a stop sign, but introducing the possibility only gives them something to latch onto to deny blame.

Green for the "scene of the crime". 

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forbin4040 said:   haoniukun said:   I was rear-ended about 3 years ago at a crossing in San Francisco when the traffic lights turned green and I was waiting for the pedestrians to pass. The party at fault also lied to his insurance company stating that I was backing off at the crossing. Because I only have the liability coverage, the insurance company only paid half of the estimation because the insurance company said that we were both at fault. Your best bet is that you can find a witness at the time of the accident. If you did not, you should learn this lesson. I don't think you have too many options other than repairing the car yourself. And you'd better purchase a windshield camera. Do not trust anyone in a car accident.
  Sounds more like the insurance gave you a BS lowball and you took it.

Yes. Do I have any other options?

Skipping 21 Messages...
rated:
qcumber98 said:   
bxlefty23 said:   
qcumber98 said:   I was in a similar situation recently and the police told me they won't write an accident report unless someone is seriously injured. Since the driver who hit you lied to the insurance company, the adjuster will try to claim partial liability. Since you didn't have collision, you will have to stay on top of this case. If they ignore you, then send a simple message on Twitter to their insurance company and you should get a call back the next business day. If it gets worse than that, then your last resort is to file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance. Lastly, let this be a lesson to always have collision coverage.
  
Always having collision is such terrible advice.

  Only if you have time to play phone tag with their adjuster and argue about the details of the accident. Meanwhile, you have to use your own insurance to get a rental car and pay your own medical bills because the other driver has a coverage limits issue. Then you wait months for a settlement check. 

  again it's simple math and risk assessment. that's all insurance is.
collision is often a terrible bet- in some cases it can be good (for example you're a far worse driver than the insurance company thinks/drive way more than they think  and in areas likely to have accidents so they're actually losing money at the rate they give you.) To say one should "always have collision" is dead wrong. to say something like that without even looking at a car's value or insurance rate is really absurd.

this doesn't even take into account that it can be pulling teeth to actually get paid.

your medical  bills have nothing whatsoever to do with collision i'm not even sure why you mentioned it.


in the long run over the course of my life i will unquestionably  come out ahead not having collision driving cars i can afford to replace.

 

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