Hey, I haven't been on here lately but seeing as it's the only message board I've really used in a long time I'm hoping I can get a little help here, maybe from someone who's had this happen.
Saturday night/Sunday morning (depending on how you look at it...) I got in a wreck on the interstate. I was getting on and some woman was fighting with her husband and was trying to get over on the shoulder, she cut across the on ramp and I hit her. My truck is done for. She admitted to the cop that she was getting over, but changed her story when she found out she was getting a ticket. She then said I hit her, I came in her lane. Well, the debris was all in my lane and the police report takes my side. Plus she got ticketed.
So now I'm dealing with the insurance companies (mine and hers) and her company is saying she says I'm at fault and suddenly she has a witness. They, for some reason, take this "witnesses" statement over the police report. They say they have to do an investigation. In the mean time, I got no truck and I have to borrow my dad's (luckily I can) to go to work. No settlement. No rental. Nothing until they're done.
Okay, I can kinda understand that they need to investigate. It sucks, but this chick is lying and I understand they have to look into it. (BTW the police report reflects that she changed her story...)
My main question is what kind of money do you think I can get out of this? I mean, I just want to replace my truck with something equal or better, but not worse. The blue book on my truck is between $2100 and $3000. I had a remanufactured transmission as well as sound proofing, a bad assed alarm system and other things. Plus now I have to move my sound over, and I have expensive wiring in that truck that I probably won't be able to remove. This truck was in GREAT shape and would have lasted me a long time. High miles, over 220,000 but still running perfectly after some repairs and the basically new transmission. For $2000ish bucks, I ain't gonna get crap. Also, considering TT&L after I buy it. Then, knowing me, something will break on it... Anyway, I'm afraid of only getting "fair" quality blue book value when I think I deserve more.
Her insurance company is Progressive. I love Flo... But I'm wondering if she's gonna screw me over. Anyone been in this position? How'd it work out? Experience with Progressive? How long did it take you? What happens if you don't like their offer?
I really don't want to end up in court... but I'm afraid it may end up that way. I am not accepting $2000 and a kiss on the cheek.
unless it's from Flo...
Last edited by RebelDogg; 08-23-2010 at 07:32 PM.
You should see if you can either talk directly to the lady or her insurance company.
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Unless you got original receipts, that may be all you're getting. I had a car totaled with aftermarket equipment, upgrades, replacements, etc., and as I couldn't produce original receipts (the value of which they would have depreciated anyhow), they didn't count for a damn thing.
As the fault is debatable, it will be difficult for you to push for them to "make you whole", i.e. put you back where you were.
Unless you can find a really good lawyer, your chances of more than $2k are pretty slim.
Sorry to say. I've been there. 2005 supercharged mustang, probably put a few hundred hours of labor into it, new suspension, $2k of engine work, new diff, etc. etc.... $14.5k. Got rear ended in stop and go traffic by this dude who was texting during a thunderstorm..
Last edited by Alex.V; 08-24-2010 at 06:08 AM.
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A lawyer will be a waste of time and money....if you can even find one to take your case. They often won't unless it's a friend, since there's no money in it. They only like injuries...and you won't get a pain and suffering settlement out of a property damage claim
As far as her changing her story:
You said the police report noted that. That's good. You also mentioned she may have gotten a ticket. Did she? That'll work in your favor as well. And you mentioned debris on the road -- It'd be great if that was mentioned in the police report, but I doubt it. Be sure you stress that to her insurance company, though, and make sure they call the reporting officer and verify (sooner rather than later), as that is a very important fact and would clearly indicate where the impact occurred.
What is the deal w/the witness, though? Who is this person and where did they come from? What's their relationship to the other driver? Someone just driving by or some friend who happened to be following the other person or in the vicinity? A passenger? (all of these type "witnesses" should be seen by both insurance companies as potentially biased and no decision should be based on their story....especially if there's a mountain of evidence to the contrary). If they were on scene, though, were they mentioned in the police report? If not, why not? And, if they weren't on scene at all, that might be another thing to have her insurance company verify w/the reporting officer.
Another thing about the police report is, is there a diagram of the accident drawn on there? That, along w/the police officer noting the other driver changing her story, the debris in the road, and tickets issued, if any, are all points in your favor.
As far as your vehicle, well, like Belial said, if you don't have receipts, you're not likely to get a whole lot of help there (and they will account for depreciation). Be sure you mention all that, though, as there will likely be at least a little room for negotiation.
Get a better insurance company and don't trick out an old vehicle in the future.
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maybe you can suddenly develop a neck injury to counter her witness
lawyers will be trampling each other to take the case. you wont pay a thing because they will take 1/3 of any settlement.. typically youre only paying a retainer to a lawyer for a consultation or for defense.
If you aren't injured, you should get blue book value on your truck. So looks like $2k.
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From what I understand, if you do upgrades to an older vehicle and you are 100% completely honest with your insurance company they will probably raise your rates to reflect the new materials but will reimburse you in the event of an accident. Granted that isn't saying anything about someone else's insurance company when they're at fault but just a heads up. (I've been known to throw motors into cars that were worth more than the car itself)
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Hey, thanks for all the responses. Things have been kinda hectic and I totally forgot that I posted this.
Just an update: I got about 5k for the truck, which I'm happy with. I was able to remove everything except for the sound proofing (obviously) and the alarm to transfer to my new car. Had to take on a big car note, but whatever. I was able to produce a receipt for the tranny (still under warranty) and I know a guy who runs an audio/alarm shop who made me up receipts for everything else. Not sure if that's insurance fraud or not, but... :P
I hear ya, Sensei, about walking away. I'm thankful for that and the fact that I didn't get breathalyzed. I wasn't drunk, but I had been drinking earlier. All in all it ended well and I ended up in a nicer car. Could do without the note, though LOL.
man, I wish I would have seen this back in august I could have helped out.. I'm curious as to what happened?
I'm a total loss adjuster for a major insurance company. I specialize in total losses.
1st of all: don't look at blue book. Blue book was designed to give you an idea WHERE TO START negotiations WITH A DEALER. KBB also assumes your vehile is in excellent condition, and let's not kid anybody, unless you just drove your car off the lot 3 months ago, it's not in excellent condition. Blue book private party is closer to what an insurance company will offer your for your vehicle.
2: If the vehicle is considered total (which is defined by having damages that meet or exceed 75% of the value of the vehicle, that 75% depends on the state also) they don't owe you what you think the car is worth. They don't owe you to replace it, they don't owe you to fix it, they owe you the value of YOUR car. and to find that value they find comparable vehicles in your area... other vehicles same year/make/model with similar mileage and options and find out how much they're selling or have sold for. If they are dealer vehicles, you can bet your ass there's going to be an adjustment because your vehicle isn't a dealer vehicle, it is a standard private party vehicle and if you were to sell it, that's what you would sell it for, a private party value, not retail.
3: if you want all those extras covered, buy a special equipment endorsement for YOUR insurance policy (in addition to collision/comprehensive) and read the policy THOROUGHLY... some policies, just because you buy that endorsement will not cover the additional equipment in the event of a total loss. an easy solution to this is to not soup up vehicles. vehicles are absolutely horrible investments and there's no point dumping loads of money into it when someone can easily come and destroy it. If you put a 4 thousand dollar stereo system in a 1997 chevy cavalier, it doesn't make it worth anymore and no insurance company is going to pay 4 thousand dollars for your stereo. they're going to say "ok, he's got a radio, entertainmen system (dvd), premium radio (subs/amp) and cd changer".. that's going to give you about $400 if it were a 1997 cavalier, if that. a remanufactured transmission will add value, but it won't be alot. you need to think of it this way: if you didn't have that transmission remanufactured, you wouldn't be driving it and it would in fact be worth much less. typical scheduled maitenance and repair is expected which is another reason why vehicles are such poor investments.
4: they can't take a biased witness. if there was a witness in that car, they'll take the statement but it's useless. same thing goes if you have a "witness" in your car. they're biased, they aren't witnesses. the only witnesses that we can take are 3rd party witnesses that nobody knows and are innocent bystandar's looking to tell their version of what happened. the police report is key over biased witnesses
5: getting an attorney for any injury that doesn't require surgery is just effing stupid. they steal 33% of your money. with some intelligence and writing skills, you can gather all your dr bills, lost wages and write up a stupid demand requesting a stupid amount of money and the insurance will counter-offer. at that time you negotiate the final settlement and you keep all of it after you pay your bills. i got rear ended by a drunk driver in 2008 and had $3200 in medical bills, yet got a $26,000 settlement because i know how to put it together. if I had an attorney, I would have lost $9k of that..
hmm.. not sure what else i can tounch on, i'm interested as to your outcome, sorry i saw this too late..