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Advice about car accident

 
 
Reply Fri 8 Apr, 2005 10:13 am
Recently I was in a car accident.

I was behind someone waiting for them to make a left turn and I got rear-ended. I was not injured. When I got out of my car to see the damages and talk to the other driver, he took off. I got his license plate number and called the police. They arrived and wrote a report.

The police were able to track the driver down, who was 17 and driving his mothers car. The police requested they respond to headquarters which they did, and the 17 year old completed a witness statement. He claims he was confused and that's why he left the scene.

After I called my insurance company they sent a claims adjuster to assess the damages to my car. They assessed the damages to be 631 dollars minus my deductible of 500 so they're only willing to pay me 131 dollars.

Does this seem right ? I have to pay 500 out of my pocket for an accident that wasn't my fault ? Why would I do that ? I thought I only had to pay the deductible if it was my fault.

I guess my question is: What are my options ?

Can I sue the owner of the other vehicle for the cost of my repairs ?

Do I need a lawyer or can I do this on my own through small claims court ?

Should I not accept the check from the insurance company ?

All I want is to get the damages to my truck fixed and have junior and his mom pay for it.
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
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Reply Fri 8 Apr, 2005 10:53 am
In MA, the driver's insurance at fault pays the damage...so if I were rear-ended, the other guy's insurance would pay, and there's no deductible involved on my end.

Every state is different with insurance though.

I'd definitely call a lawyer and get advice.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Apr, 2005 10:56 am
Re: Advice about car accident
CerealKiller wrote:
Can I sue the owner of the other vehicle for the cost of my repairs ?

Rhode Island is not a no-fault auto insurance state, so the at-fault driver's insurer should be paying you for all of the damage to your car. I cannot understand why your own insurer is paying -- and sticking you with the deductible. You're right: under the circumstances that you've described, your insurer shouldn't be doing that. The only thing I can think of is that the other driver doesn't have any insurance, in which case your insurer would pay under your uninsured motorist coverage.

But, to get back to your question: yes, you can sue the other driver for the amount of money that you have to pay, out of pocket, for the damage. Since the driver is a minor, you might want to explore the possibility of suing the parents under a "negligent entrustment" theory. In any event, the person who is at fault should pay for the damage that he caused, either through his insurance or out of his own pocket.

CerealKiller wrote:
Do I need a lawyer or can I do this on my own through small claims court ?

A $500 claim would most likely be handled in small claims court. You don't need a lawyer for those kinds of cases.

CerealKiller wrote:
Should I not accept the check from the insurance company ?

Not until you find out why they're paying for this claim rather than the driver's insurer.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Apr, 2005 11:03 am
Michigan is also a no fault, which sucks if this situation happens.

I am sorry this is happening...what a pain.
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